What. Are. You?

Brooklyn - Greenwood Cemetery

Nearly 175 years old the cemetery is filled with beautiful monuments, mausoleums, rolling hills and trees. The main architecture of the fencing and buildings is Gothic Revival, giving the historic cemetery an almost eerie feeling in the evening. With stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, and plenty of famous people and Civil War veterans buried here, it's become something of a tourist locale.

Despite all the hustle and bustle of tourists, strolling through Greenwood's 483 acres is like a walk back in time — Beautiful, peaceful and historic.


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Lilith Graves Kieran

For several nights in a row, Lilith has attempted to contact Gilbert and Brandi in Central Park, and to no avail. Gilbert, she's sure, is agitated with her for throwing a stick through him. Brandi likely doesn't know how to manifest all that well yet, if she was only recently attacked. Thanks to a bit of research, she knows well enough that neither of them have been buried in the historic Greenwood Cemetery, but from past experience she also knows that some ghosts like to congregate around other dead people, so that they have someone to talk to.
"Alright, Gilbert, if you're here… I'll consider digging up your body IF you bring Brandi to me. I want to ask her a few questions."

Ah, stalking. It brings back such wonderful memories of the days when stalking was a way of life, when tracking and hunting prey into the most desolate areas was a prime method of entertainment and feeding. Lilith Graves is not an easy woman to stalk, however. She stays indoors, and it took a full day to find out where she lived. Then there was the matter of putting a few eyes on her, and waiting for the telephone call, and hoping that he could slip away from work.
The stars are aligned.
Hovering in the shadows, Kieran debates just hanging back and listening. That lasts for all of two minutes and three seconds, not that he's counting, before he's stepping forward with a smirk. "I'd like to ask her a few questions too."

It only takes a second. Lilith hears the step, and her hand is in her purse and dragging out a small container of pepper spray. It's going off even as she turns toward the voice and yelps, "Jesus H. fucking CHRIST."
It takes a lot to startle Lilith, but having a voice jump out at her in a cemetery… one that can create noises with its feet, is just unnerving.
A moment later, she's blinking and dropping the canister.
"Mr. Collins," she says somewhat coldly. "Come to return your body to the land where it belongs?"

Kieran's face is a perfect mimicry of naive innocence. "I have no idea what you could be talking about, Miss Graves." His eyes widen as he speaks, and he lifts his brows for added emphasis. "I'm just looking to have a conversation with a dead woman."
"Unfortunately, for that I think you're a bit better qualified."
It's a compliment. In a round about way.

"If you wish to have a conversation with a dead woman, you can always come on the show and wait your turn." Lilith crouches down to pick up the dropped canister of spray, simply because she feels she might need it again. Despite how the man is able to draw her attention, there's more to him than just looks, and it's that more that's making her antsy.
"Your soul is not normal, your body is dead. What ARE you, Mr. Collins."

"What am I?" Kieran asks. One corner of his mouth curls up in a smirk. "A rich, dashing, devilishly handsome millionaire playboy, and yourself?" Blue eyes drop to the pepper spray and then lift back to the necromancer. He's not at all worried about getting pepper sprayed. It might be an annoyance for a moment or two, but he'll get over it a lot faster than a human would.
"Believe you me, there are plenty of people who would disagree with the dead part. I'm quite vigorously and energetically alive." There's enough of a leer and arrogance in the last statement that it doesn't take much of an imagination to figure out what he's talking about.

"That is what you play at, Mr. Collins." Lilith clutches to the pepper spray, and then she feels it. A slight tingling to her left that notifies her that a ghost is near. Glancing in that direction, she watches long enough to see if it's Gilbert, and then turns away when it's not. The last thing she needs in a cemetery full of dead bodies is a couple hundred ghosts realizing what she is.
"I beg to differ, Mr. Collins. I can see and smell the death around you from here. The soul that is currently inhabiting your dead body is exceedingly corrupt. Unlike anything I have seen before."

Kieran follows her gaze, but catches only a flickering between the trees. He's not attuned to the spirits, so to speak, and they have to be actively choosing to manifest for him to notice them at all. His gaze quickly returns to Lilith. "What, pray tell, does death look like?" It's hard to tell if he's making fun of her or seriously asking the question. There's an almost unnatural tilt to his head, and the way he studies the woman clutching to the pepper spray.
"How about, I promise not to bite. And you …" Kieran's eyes flick to the pepper spray and back to Lilith, "Put that away before you hurt yourself."

"Rot emanates from you, Mr. Collins."
Lilith clutches more tightly to the canister and shakes her head. "I am fine holding it." A glare is shot in his direction. "I do not like being bossed around by a corrupt spirit," she says, coldly again. "Especially one who refuses to tell me what he is doing inhabiting a dead body. That's not supposed to be possib —"
Shrieking, she takes a step backward. "Damn it, Gilbert, do you need to pop up in front of my face constantly? Don't you know you should tap me on the shoulder instead? That's the most annoying damned thing in the world."
~ Well, gee, sorry miss crankypants, but you said you were goin' dig me up. ~

He's going to have to tell Sera that Lilith's persona isn't all an act. Of course, it is more amusing and entertaining, and far, far less annoying on television.
With an heavy exhalation, Kieran rolls his eyes skyward. "There are a million of emo goth girls who would completely understand it."
One of the things Vampires do is protect their identity, but one thing Kieran has learned is that other supernaturals - besides sorcerers - aren't so quick to want to out one another. It makes things difficult for everyone involved. Not that he's told her what he is exactly.
"Miss Graves, we both want the same thing -"
It takes a few moments for the ghost to fully materialize enough for Kieran to see him and then the Vampire half-groans/half-growls. "Gilbert is it? This is so not a good time."

"A million of emo goth gir — "
Lilith just stares at him. Without warning, she reaches out to grab hold of his hand again. Trying to place the feeling she had the other night. Dead, but not dead. Corrupt soul…
"You've got to be fucking kidding me, right? Seriously? You're trying to tell me you're Edward Cullen, and you sparkle in the sunlight?" Rolling her eyes, she turns to Gilbert.
"As for you, I never once said that I would definitely dig you up. I said I'd consider it if you could find me the girl from the other night. I want to talk to her."
~ He can see me? He can hear me? Hey, you. Guy there. You go dig me up. ~
"He is NOT going to dig you up, Gilbert."

"Not bloody likely, woman." Kieran snorts and looks incredibly offended by both the comparison and the mention. "Stephenie Meyer is a hack who doesn't the supernatural world from the empty space in her head, and any self-respecting vampire or werewolf would have eaten and killed Bella and been done with it."
"I am not fucking Edward Cullen."
Kieran can only hear Lilith's side of the conversation, but he tilts his head as she addresses Gilbert and he's able to fill in the blanks.
"Hmm, let me think …graverobbing, not really my idea of a good time, Gilbert."
"But if it's that important to you, find us the woman and I can arrange it." He probably won't, but Gilbert doesn't have to know that.

"Wait a minute." Lilith actually has to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing aloud. "You've actually READ those novels?"
~ Would you stop flirting with tall, dark, and dead, and pay attention to me? ~
"Good lord, Gilbert, I'm not flirting with the VAMPIRE. Pulling the corrupt soul from his body would be much more interesting to me." That is, if he really IS a vampire. Then something the man has said causes her to burst out with a laugh.
"I really should hope you're not fucking Edward Cullen, Mr. Collins, as you'd definitely have more issues than just being DEAD at that point." Sexing a fictional character would definitely mean the man needs psychological help.
~ See? He's willing to help me. Which of the dumb blondes do you want? There's four or five hanging around the park. Counted them all last night. ~
"Brandi Sugar, or whatever it was she was calling herself. She could manifest."

"You don't have to read them to be aware of how trite they are." Kieran gives another eye roll, and huffs a bored breath. "I dated a woman who liked them. She was into sharing." He rolls his shoulders back in a shrug, and then gives a leering grin. "Had a mouth like a Hoover though so really, it was a small price to pay."
"Nice. You're a comedienne. Don't give up your day job."
He looks pointedly at the ghost, "Are you going to be cooperative or not?"

"Maybe not," Lilith agrees. "But it's pretty sad that you know OF them enough to know character names."
The leering grin just earns him a roll of the eyes, because as she told Gilbert, she's NOT flirting with the man. "Have you ever heard the term TMI? That was it. I have no interest in your sex life, Mr. Collins."
Eyeing Gilbert, she nods. "Please, Gilbert. I can direct someone to your grave if you'd like, but I won't dig it up myself."
~ Fine. Give me a few minutes. Teaching a newbie the ropes is a pain the the arse. ~

"Anyone faintly in touch with modern pop culture and not living under a rock knows the character names," Kieran points out. "Or, am I supposed to go to my masoleum and crawl into my casket when the sun comes up? Rise again at sundown in my tattered Victorian clothing and shun the modern world?"
Why is he even pursuing this conversation with this woman?
There is a reason I don't like necromancers. Or bitchy women. And she's both.
"Is your ghostly boyfriend going to do as asked?"

"How Anne Rice of you." Lilith grins and then nods.
"Gilbert is FAR from being a man I would ever date, even if he WERE alive." Scrunching her nose up slightly, she ensures that the ghost is gone before she moves over to one of the benches. There's hardly a point in standing amidst the grave stones and waiting for another ghost to pop up and surprise her. She's well aware that there are quite a few milling about mourning themselves, but they have no idea that she can see or hear them.
She hopes.
"Though I can't promise that this girl will be of much help, really. The recently deceased are usually a bit confudled an rarely realize they're dead."
A curious look is given to him. "Why are you interested anyhow?"

"I might not be," Kieran looks around and then leaps atop the nearest tombstone. It's one of those three foot tall and two feet wide things with flowers and angels inscribed in the lid, meant to look like art instead of an above ground coffin.
He settles there, idly swinging his legs back and forth in an almost childlike manner. "I'm looking for a ghost of someone who died - " Was killed "- in the park. She looked like she might fit the bill. If she does, I have questions. If not, I'll move on."

It's on the tip of Lilith's tongue to snappily ask if it was one of his kills, but she stops herself before the words come out of her mouth. That could be dangerous.
"Gilbert mentioned there were plenty of blondes who died in the park. You don't happen to know her name?"
Speaking of, the ghost with the annoying most pops his head up through the stone Kieran is perched on. ~ She'll come. You owe me. ~ He pops up right beside Kieran and pretends to poke him. ~ He said he'd do it. You make sure he does. ~
"Thank you, Gilbert."
Getting up from the bench, she takes a few steps toward the stone. "Brandi will be here shortly."

"No," Kieran shakes his head. He can see Gilbert and he levels a glare in the ghost's direction. Kieran knows that a threatening glare isn't as effective when you can't physically follow up, but he puts a good deal of darkness into the glare. "I can see you."
He's not going to be stupid enough to tell the ghost that he's annoying because that will only encourage him.
"As far as I know, her name is Jane Doe." Kieran gives a disinterested shrug. He's not invested in the dead women, short of finding the vampire responsible for killing them. "She might have a street name, but no one's come forward to identify her. Your way with hangers on is the first good lead I've gotten."
The vampire isn't being as much of an arrogant ass now that things have settled into a more 'business' feel. It's still there, beneath the surface, but he's not playing the asshole card at the moment.

~ But you can't touch me, ~ chirps Gilbert as he moves to sit on the statue right above Kieran's head.
Amusing as that is, Lilith gives the ghost a stern look. The vampire may not be able to follow up on any threats, but she can drag Gilbert's sould back into his decaying body if she had a mind to, and that wouldn't be pleasant for ANY of them. "Behave," she snaps at Gilbert.
"Have you dealt with someone who can talk to spirits before?" Her body tenses, and she exhales a slow breath. "I will let you know when she arrives, and then you can ask her questions. I will let you know if it's getting to be too much for her, because death is generally a very traumatic event and she's still… fresh." Which means the trauma of her dying may take over any useful information she's able to give.
"When and if she responds, I will repeat the answers to you, alright?"
Basically, it's a similar premise to what she tells people on her show. Most of what she does, obviously, is fake. She hates instances like this where someone is relying on her for information that she can't guarantee.

It's a good thing that Kieran can't hear the ghost, or he would find a way to bind the annoying spirit to its own decaying bodies. Graves isn't the only necromancer in the world, after all.
Kieran's tempted to play coy, innocent and dumb, but figures that won't get him anywhere. He needs the necromancer right now, and she's a lot more likely to be honest and not pull anything with him if she knows what he knows.
"Yes." Kieran meets her gaze steadily. "About thirty years ago. Her name was Jackie." Is still Jackie? He hasn't a clue if she's dead or alive anymore.
"I don't expect you to be a mind reader," Kieran continues after a pause. "If she talks, she talks. If she doesn't, then I look elsewhere."
Or we hire you in a more professional sense.

Lilith nods at that. So he's well aware as to how this works. It would be easier to keep the spirit here with them if she had something that belonged to the woman to anchor her here, but as she doesn't she's going to have to rely on simply helping the woman crossover.
That's the part of the job I hate.
It takes several more minutes before Brandi appears, and when she does the necromancer nods at Kieran.
"She's here. A little disoriented. It's her first trip outside of the park since passing over."

Kieran takes a moment to survey the area near the grave. It takes a moment for his gaze to shift and settle, focusing in on the spirit of the woman, Brandi Sugar.
Definitely a woman of the night. Bottle blonde, too much makeup and too few clothes and two sizes too small.
Sliding from his perch, Kieran crosses over to the ghost's side. "What happened to you?"
Yes, he's not the most sensitive, but he's not there to help the woman crossover to her final reward or whatever crock she believes.

"I just told you she was disoriented," Lilith chides. Arms cross over her chest as she watches Brandi Sugar appear, and waits for the woman to gain her spirit-world footing.
"What he means to say is how did this happen to you?"
~ It wasn't coyotes. ~
Lilith repeats this, then glances at Kieran. "What else can you tell us, Brandi?"
~ It was a john. One'a my regulars. Never seen him like that before. Dark eyed and slightly crazed. ~
Again, the necromancer repeats what she's being told, and frowns slightly. "Dark eyed and crazed?"

Kieran perks up at the reveal. He can make sense of the dark eyed and crazed. He is tempted to give a demonstration, but doesn't want to spook Brandi, no pun intended.
"Do you know his name or the name he was using?" Kieran asks. Some men do give false names, but it's possible that even so, they might be able to track him by questioning other 'women of the evening.' "Could you describe him?"
"Where do you normally work?"

~ Mr. Jones. ~ Brandi rolls her eyes. She knows full well that the john's never give their real names. It could get them in legal trouble. ~ What does he mean what he was using? ~
Lilith relays that and then glances at Kieran. Before she relays anything else, she asks, "Is this your Jane Doe, or are you just having fun harassing a newly departed?"
~ Tall. Cropped or shaved dark brown hair. Brown eyes. Muscular. Late thirties maybe? Could've been army or navy, I guess. Never saw him in uniform but he had the muscles. ~

Kieran rolls his eyes. Biting his cheek, he takes a breath to stop from snapping at the necromancer. The vampire knows when to play nice. He doesn't always do it, but he knows when to do it.
"Trust me, I have much better things to do than harass the 'newly departed.' " Kieran makes air quotes around the words. "Yes, she is the Jane Doe."
"What was your usual spot? Where you picked him up?" Kieran asks. "You're not the first woman he's attacked. If we can find him, we can stop it."

Nodding, Lilith seems to be a little more at ease. If this is the woman he was looking for, then it's not so much of a huge deal if he talks to her. It may help Brandi as well, and while she's loathe to admit it, if she can get one to just cross over, or whatever it is they generally do, she'll be happy.
It means one less spirit haunting her.
~ Central Park and Harlem. But Mr. Jones wasn't the only one. Mr. Thomas took one of the other girls before she ended up like me. ~ Brandi moves closer to Kieran, curiously looking at him. ~ Does he really want to help? ~

Kieran watches the ghost move and strains to hear her. It's not easy. It's a lot like trying to hear a voice from the bottom of a deep well, under water with a white noise machine and telephone line static in between. It's partly the strength of the ghost and the will of the observer, but it's easier for Vampires than it is for other supernaturals. If he wanted to make the effort.
"What's she saying?" Kieran asks Lilith.

Realizing that she's forgotten to repeat what the ghost has said, Lilith sighs. "Central Park and Harlem was her stomping grounds. The guy who did this to her wasn't the only one. Another man took another girl just before she wound up dead."
Glancing at Brandi, she raises her brow a little.
"She's curious if you actually want to help or not."
~ I don't know what he was on. But he bit me. ~ Brandi's hand sits on her ethereal neck and she starts to fade away.
"The more she thinks about the incident, the weaker she seems to get," Lilith points out. "Thank you, Brandi. Have a rest, and I will contact you if this nice," she stumbles over the word a little, "gentleman has anymore questions, alright?"
~ Yes, a rest. Good idea… ~ Slowly, she fades out of existence.

Two of them? The thought settles heavily in Kieran's mind and not very well. Something just isn't adding up, but he can't narrow it down at the moment. He needs more data, and unfortunately Brandi Sugar just isn't a strong enough ghost to provide answers right now.
Bloody hell, Kieran thinks with a couple of curses in his first tongue tagged on for added emphasis.
"Did she say anything else that might be important?" Kieran asks Lilith. "How she was attacked? The weapon? Body location?"

"She's not strong," Lilith says with a sigh, though really that's not surprising. "She's new. She was a prostitute. They generally don't have the strongest of wills to begin with."
Tilting her head at the Gaelic cursing because she doesn't understand a damned word of it, she frowns. "Mr Collins, if I asked you to jump off of there and follow me before I reply any further, would you?" Her head tilts back in the other direction and there is a ghost there that is watching them. That has been watching them. If Lilith is going to focus on Brandi Sugar, or whatever the hell her real name is, she's going to need to pretend that she's just a mourner and not actually talking to thin air.
"I'll tell you everything else she said, just follow me to the most recent grave you can find before I get bombarded."

Kieran is doing his best to play nicely. Because the woman didn't demand it of him, and seems to be haunted by ghosts that can't quite materialize into his field of vision, and because she's actually been helpful, he's not going to be difficult.
Sera would be so proud, Kieran thinks, jumping spritely down from his perch. He lands like a cat, barely making a sound, and that one only because he wanted to do so.
"I can do that," Kieran agrees. He turns, and after a quick consideration, ducks his head and heads up one of the newer, fresher paths in the cemetery.

"Thank you," Lilith murmurs.
The woman remains silent until she finds a fresh grave. There are very few in this cemetery these days. Kneeling by it, she nods to Kieran, who can either stand behind her or kneel with her, she really doesn't care. She doesn't trust him one iota, but she knows he won't even attempt to harm her provided she remains useful.
The ghost that was watching them hangs its head in disappointment and wanders back into the mausoleum.
"Brandi is hard to focus on as is, without having to deal with another ghost at the moment." Lilith may just come back for him at a later date but right now she needs to focus on this one thing.
"She said she was bitten. She didn't mention a weapon. No mention of a body location, but the first place I saw her was the area where I ran into you the other night." Beat. "When a ghost first manifests it's generally around the area that they died. The death anchors them to that spot."

Live to be as old as Kieran, and one learns to be a good actor. He barely pauses before kneeling to the cold, hard ground beside her, reaching out to place one hand on the freshly overturned dirt. He ducks his head, and to anyone passing by he looks like a mourner saying goodbye to a lost friend, lover or relation.
He considers everything Lilith is saying and frowns as his brain tosses around thoughts and ideas. "The other girl she talked about, she would have been killed in or near the same area." It's not a comment for conversation or response. He's still working out details. "Have you seen any other … fresh ghosts in that area lately?"

"I don't…" Lilith rubs her hands over her face and keeps them there a moment. It looks like she may be crying but she's just trying to ground herself. There's been a lot of ghostly interaction lately, of the variety that she prefers to avoid.
Part of the reason she loves being on television so much is that she knows unless she lets the ghosts talk to her, or pays attention to them, she can say whatever she wants to reassure people in the audience.
"I haven't gone looking for any. I can, but then we're going to have to set up some sort of payment or deal, and some way of contacting you once I locate them."
She pauses briefly, removing her hands from her face.
"New ghosts are hard to deal with. Most are disoriented for the first several days or weeks. There's… a gap between when they die and when they appear generally." She can't explain it. She's never been able to explain that.

Kieran is about to give her one of his patented, arrogant quips but thinks better of it. The woman is somewhat irritating, but she was useful tonight. Taking advantage of - sorry, procuring - her services to get to the bottom of this might not be such a terrible idea. Alienating her will not encourage further cooperation.
"There may be more," Kieran says. It's not a confirmation that someone is biting women and leaving their bodies strewn across Central Park,but it's a hook tossed in her direction. He won't give out more information than that until he's talked to Kostas about it.
"If you see one, you can leave a message for me at Flanaghan's Pub in Brooklyn." The vampire isn't carrying a business card on him at this time of night, and if he needs a point of contact, Flanaghan's is a much better choice than the restaurant or the nightclub. "We can talk payment and business arrangements if you should happen to see another one."
"Just leave your name and a contact number. It doesn't even have to be your full name, I'll get back to you." Kieran will let Maeve know to look out for an odd call like that, and she'll bring the entire bar staff up to date.
He gives her a polite nod. "Thank you, Miss Graves. You have been helpful tonight."

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