Log:Are You Gonna Go My Way
Esme was quiet, quiet, quiet all day at school. There's no note passing, no talking, just zoning out or listening or scribbling when she's not fighting to stay awake and getting up to move around needlessly in class. At lunch, she avoids the talk around the tables (who knows the kinds of things people will be talking about, considering). The brunette teen steals out onto one of the outside benches and picks at a granola bar and a banana while trying to read (in the shade).
It's pretty common for Esme to come check the News room mail for her column after school, but usually, she bags them and takes them home to read and notate and make stacks of Yes No Maybe. Today, she's deciding to stay in the building for a while in lieu of going home because she knows it's a space where no one is home, so... she bides time before just going to work.
So right now, Esme is curled on the Thinking Couch in the news room reading through a small stack of notes/letters from the drop slot to get fodder for her column. She's wearing a little t-shirt under a knee-length jumper dress of yellow and red floral scheme like sunshine with her Doc Martin sandals on the floor in front of the couch where she slipped out of them to curl her legs and feet up alongside herself while seated. And sure, she has the makeup she re-applied after lunch and her hair, even half pulled back and clipped away from her face, it's curled and neat and she looks like the sunshine piece of doll she tends to be, but today... her inner sunshine isn't just dampened by daylight, it seems weighed down, bottom lip at constant worry between her teeth while she reads.
Normally, the newspaper team might often find themselves putting together next week's paper once school ends or, at the very least, work on outlining the year book. The end of the school year was coming up, after all. This year, however, all of that is being hindered by a few of the newsies. Some might say all of them for just how much involvement they have due to friends and family in this mess.
Since their house arrest, Lucas and Landon have been scarce from many an after school activity. Of course, Morrison has offered to wait for them, but there's only so long that they can keep him waiting, so most everything is done during school hours. Or at home. It's not too much of a surprise that Landon shows up here to finish a few things before he leaves, so that's what brings him here today. He'd edited a few articles, including one from Spear, so he's merely dropping the finished product being ready for print.
He's wearing a white dress shirt with his tie loosened and the top buttons undone and a light pair of slacks and sneakers. With his bookbag over one shoulder, he reaches into it to grab the documents when he notices Esme there. "Didn't think the gang was meeting here today." The gang minus himself and Lucas. With the manila folder set down atop the front desk, he makes his way over to where Esme is and drops down on the couch beside her feet, the bookbag set down on the floor.
Esme pulls in a breath and looks up as Landon comes in, then releases it when she realizes who it is. Her mouth hitches up in a helpless semblence of smile before she shakes her head and uncurls her legs to start shifting up for feet dropping, "They're not. I'm killing time before work, I guess. Didn't really want to go home and Lana's doing a Lana thing she needs to do, mom and dad aren't home, so I... just... you know." Her fingernail painted burgundy red taps over on the letter stack after she shifts it to rest on the arm of the couch.
Turning her visual attention on Landon in full now, her head tilts and she wonders, quietly, "How are you holding up with... I mean after Monday, and then yesterday and..." There's no real need to explain what she means. Her hand makes a brief swipe to adjust some longer pieces of his hair at the shirt collar with small, delicate fuss like an excuse to touch him.
"Killing time." Landon just laughs at that, turning in his seat to better face her. This gives him better reach at his collar and even that partially loosened tie. "Sorry that we have to conduct all of our work from home. But hey, having the gang come over for brainstorming isn't all that bad." He says with a cheeky grin, though something does dawn on him and slowly that smile begins to fade. "So... how bad was it?" He asks regarding Monday. Their Mondays were spent very differently. "Is the place alright? We could get someone to help you fix anything up before your parents get back. Hire a contractor."
With her giving him ample room to sit, he settles back into a heavy lean. "We were safe. I mean, you know, there was the urge to get out but they weren't stupid enough to come after us. Not with the amped up security that Uncle Robert hired." Then he lets out another frustrated breath. "And Morrison even more concerned, but he doesn't think that we should be getting involved at all. Let the cops handle that." A pause, "Did anyone call the cops that night? I know that Mr. Bloomquist was there, but no other," Reliable adult, "Witnesses?"
Esme drops her hand from adjusting hair to rest on Landon's shoulder a moment before it drags back to herself to rest against her skirted lap. And when her hand falls after listening to his side and his inquiries, so do her eyes, right to that hand for an absorbed examination of fingernails. She doesn't really answer in a hurry, but when she does, she breathes out a tiny laugh at the irony, "You know what one of the only rules was before they left? Don't get the cops called out. I don't think it was a rule we meant to obey, but everything happened so fast and everything was so..." She wets her lips, "No one, not even Mister Bloomquist called the cops. I guess he could have said something after he left, but..."
Esme sighs heavily and murmurs, "It was scary, Landon. I controlled myself through will, so did James, but we were struggling and trying to keep away from the others that were trying to leave and fighting and... you know, so we wouldn't tip and get triggered too and be a liability. Then the monsters showed up while the door was open and unblocked and people were outside. I couldn't see. I had to be muted for the night as the homeowner under blood spell or... whatever." Another sigh here, "But I could hear..."
She stops and hesitates a moment before leaning aside to curl up against Landon instead of the arm of the couch now in a heap of girl tumble, "I'm scared. The things she said after she couldn't get any of us and everyone was inside..." She remembers the rageful vows of vengeance outside the door in a way that makes her cold.
"If no one's talking to the police, then how are we supposed to convince anyone of anything?" Landon says with incredible annoyance in his tone. "Hell, Morrison saying that we should leave this up to the police is an oddity all it's own. Lesters don't /like/ the police and how are we supposed to call them after the fact when they already don't believe us?"
With that bit out of the way, after having the most difficult time convincing his own relatives about how dangerous their situation is, he asks, "Did Silver or anyone take pictures? Videos of anything?" He'll assume that she had her camera, "We need /evidence/. That's the only way that we'll get the police to help us." He then mutters, "Or our relatives." Before adding, "Which is why, we need all of you to carry around a camera or camcorder to make sure to capture all of this. Lucas and I can't help. We're not /allowed/ to help, because we have no evidence of anything and... this is bigger than any of us, so we need to leave it up to the police. We're hoping Mr. Bloomquist contacts them."
To the fact that Esme was and seems frightened out of her mind, Landon can only sigh, he was annoyed as fuck, but he was concerned as well. "What did they say?"
Esme blinks a couple of times and stays like that a moment before murmuring and straightening up into sit to knock a hand back through her hair, eyes cutting away from Landon as she hitches her shoulders uneasily, "Silver had to do drugs with Jade to keep herself together, as far as I can tell, once it all started, things went from sitting around into chaos. I told them to pull the bookshelf before I was muted, but they weren't fast enough. Art got out. Cash was trying to get out. Amy went out after him with Zane, Silvio was coming in after a bunch of yelling and when everyone finally got in, Mona and Lana were watching James and I, it..."
It's hard to explain the chaos, but it's not really an excuse, "By the time they were knocking and yelling threats, after a few times of people telling them to fuck off, they... left. There would have been no one there by the time they arrived. But maybe Bloomquist will or did. We... should talk to him, but..."
Esme pauses and rubs at her jaw with the curl of a palm to stop it from twitching up tense, then moves the hand with slide under her hair to her neck uneasily, "She said we can't hide forever, every night, and there's Prom..." But the threat to the prom and their night freedom was nothing compared to what she says last, "And that they'd kill everyone we love." She pauses, "And that was at my house. I think I made a mistake. What if my parents or Lana are the example because..." She doesn't finish that sentence and looks at her letter stack, "I shouldn't have sent you guys to look. I'm glad you were okay."
"Then let them go." Is all that Landon has to say about the various people who tried to get out. "You're not everyone's babysitter and there's more important things to do. Like get as much evidence as possible so that we can convince people about the danger that we're in." It's cold, yes. But Landon's learned that sometimes you gotta be cold and cut off the things that don't really matter. He will add, "As long as they can't let those monsters inside of your place. Just... let them go."
"But what?" He asks sternly now, the Marchant in him coming out. She's stammering and he's under god damn house arrest because people can't gather evidence to prove anything. "I knew it was a bad idea. Everyone should have stayed at home, spread out. They would've only gone to one house, I figure." Does Landon even love anyone other than Lucas? It's hard to say despite how close he seems with his family, but would he risk his life for them? Since he was twelve, he'd learned to not put faith in anyone but his brother.
He's been using this scolding tone the whole time, those cold, calculating eyes watching Esme as she goes on. In the end, his features soften somewhat and he places a somewhat reassuring hand on her shoulder. "It's not your fault. Obviously, we were all drawn to this thing for one reason or other. All part of this Francine's grand plan." A well-practiced hand reaches out to gently lift at her chin so that their eyes meet, "Right now, we're going to be of no help unless all of you help us. Prove that something is going on. Get the police in on this. Or there might not be any prom if Morrison has a say."
"Yeah. I'll try things. When I don't have to work, I'll corner Bloomquist and try to make him go to the cops even if he doesn't want to. Some adult has to. Even if it's him." Esme says after a moment of sitting quietly, her chin drawn up, though her eyes are a little slower about it. "Everything's not supposed to be wrong like this for us. It's insane. And Mister Chen leaves us with as many questions as answers. But it's what we have." She intakes a small, slow breath of air in through her nose and curls her fingers against the fabric of her dress skirt.
Then, after a moment of pause, she says, "Sorry you're on lockdown. I'm sure it's frustrating but... it's safer. And people are enforcing it because they care. Which doesn't take the helpless, caged feeling away, I imagine, but sometimes it might help it feel more tolerable." Her voice is quiet and just kind of trails off after that.
When Esme complies to his suggestion, Landon nods slowly, "Theodore, I think, had the number of someone investigating Brenda's disappearance that he said he would pass along to Mr. Bloomquist. But, like I said, no one's going to do anything unless we have something to show them." His brow furrows deeply, "Will we have more freedom once they find out that what we're saying in true? Most likely not." And he's upfront about this. "But at least the burden isn't ours to bear alone. And they're adults. They have more power of authority than we do." This is said in an annoyed fashion, but he can't help but smile a bit after that.
There's a shake of his head, "I can't believe that this was the one moment that Silver wasn't snapping pictures." It's perfectly clear that he's frustrated that no one is believing them. He knows that both he and Lucas are still on shaky ground with their uncle. "Right now, we're the boys crying wolf. Security was elevated because of us," And Thea, "And nothing came of it. Which is fantastic, but we can say all we want that your house was under attack Monday night. Where's the proof? Was anyone... hurt?" There's that question, "Like, did the vampires claw anybody?" Before he has a chance to ask more questions, Lucas is there leaning against the door frame, waiting on him.
"Looks like Morrison is here." Leaning forward to reach down for his bookbag, he turns his eyes back to Esme, "Just... I don't want you to put yourself in any danger. So that means don't go snooping around the hotel that the cult is at. But we need to know who works for them. Their," His eyes narrow as he tries remember the term, "Revenants. They could be people in our community and we don't know it. But whoever they are, they are probably feeding Francine with information on us and our families. We'll see about hiring someone to do that job." Breathing out a heavy sigh, he leans forward to carefully place a kiss at the side of Esme's cheek. It's a quick action, before he stands to rise, "Do you want a ride anywhere?" He asks, extending a hand out to her if she wanted any help getting up.
"I'll do what I need to do. But that probably doesn't include hotel stalking, at least." Esme listens to Landon at length with her shoulders in tiny rise and fall with words of conclusion (which might not be overly reassuring, coming from a Freeland blooded), pushing her tongue against the point of a canine with hard pressure. The lean of Landon to get his book bag has her slanting her eyes back to her letters on the arm of the couch again, features sober and pensive before she's nudged out of whatever she's thinking with the brief and gentle kiss at her cheek.
Then Esme looks at Landon's extended hand with the offer for a good three beats or so of consideration before reaching one hand to grab the mail she came for, the other reaching to take his hand and use for pull up and balance while wiggling feet back into her shoes, "I could use a ride to work. Don't want to walk while there's sun. Thanks." Or at night either, but that's not the issue for the moment. Once she's back in her sandals, she gives Lucas a small smile and leans to get her purse and books to catch a secure quick and available ride, both congenial politeness and quiet on the way.
"You know," Landon says, half turning to Esme as they make their way to the door, with him slipping his arm around her, hand resting at the small of her back, "I tried to tell them," Morrison and Theodore, "About the importance of our bloodline. Our lineage. I shouldn't be surprised if they don't believe any of that either. Because who would?" He then finishes with, "Not that I said anything about witches or fairies or anything." Or werewolves.
"I'm not even sure how you had that conversation. Don't forget sorcerers. What the sweet good hell is the difference between that and a witch?" Esme murmurs, seeming to get a little more animated in her state of confusion over //that// nerdy/supernatural distinguisher. It's not like she plays D&D or anything. Or maybe it's Landon's arm resting around her and the touch he's giving her that has her a little more lively. "Frustrating and useless if we can't do anything to use it." She clearly doesn't quite understand the connection of any 'way' about her that seems sorcerous. But you know. It's probably there somewhere because the Asian guy said so, right?