Jean was determined now to make this wild traveling carnival her home because she didn’t travel miles and miles away from the only place she’d ever been to feel just as isolated. So she’d made a point to start talking to some of the people she worked with and get herself some honest to god friends. One such new friend was a fellow named Riley who’d told her about the mechanics and she was curious about the work. Didn’t have a lot of automobiles back in Garnet so she wondered what kind of geniuses could work on such machinery.
When she got to the workshop she looked around. Sure was a lot of loud noise, lots of clunky metal against other metal and she barked down to take a look around. She happened upon woman, of all things, hunched over one of the motors and tinkering with it. “Hello.” She said loudly so the woman could hear her.
Lily had only been a part of the carnival for just over a year. She was an ocean away from the last 130 years of her life and the man who made her what she was, the one who saved her. Thankfully Edward and Eva had taken her into their fold and they came to the States. The daywalker had been a blacksmith before she became a vampire. And afterwards, she had become fascinated as technologies evolved over the decades and machines came into being. Moving parts were amusing.
Today she was working on a truck motor that had seen better days. A bit of oil there, an adjustment here. Then Lily tilted her head a little as she could already hear and feel someone approach through the near white noise of the workshop.
Lily straightened and turned to face Jean. The vampire wore boots, coveralls, and an A-shirt with her hair braided down her back. “Hello.” She spoke loudly so the other woman could hear her.
Instantly the first thing she noticed about her was how beautiful she was. It was an honest observation, Jean always saw that first. Then she noticed the braid and her coveralls. It seemed she was the type of girl who liked to get her hands dirty. “Names Jean, I just joined bout a month back. I’m the new lion tamer.” She wasn’t sure if they’d had one there before but she was happy to be taking on the role.
She took a look around and then back at the woman. “What are you doing? Ain’t been around too many automobiles before.” And she was curious about the person. It didn’t seem like a job many women would be interested in.
She had seen Jean before, but had not approached her. It was one of Lily’s hobbies to watch people. After the loss of her sire, she had become quieter for the most part. Getting back to doing what she liked in her former life had kept her mind on an even keel. “I’m Lily,” she spoke, her French accent peeking through. “Ooo...that is good. I like big cats.” She smiled, her fangs hidden.
“I am working on a motor for one of the supply trucks. It is needing some adjustments.” Lily nodded. The truck was a very far cry from the simple machinery that wagons and carts were. But she liked them along with clocks.
She looked passed Lily at the motor behind her and smiled. “That’s interesting. How long you been working them things?” She wondered aloud though she noticed that some people round here didn’t like to talk about how many years they’d been at it, like there was a secret held in their age. She didn’t mind, she had secrets of her own that she wasn’t quite ready to tell anyone about, if she ever did.
The comment about big cats made her smile, especially considering she thought of herself as one of those big cats. And they were so much more than others really gave them credit for. Especially the ones they had at Zion.
“Not too long.” She grinned a little. It was true. She had observed automobiles and other machinery, especially the kind used to construct the Eiffel Tower. It was so interesting. And yes, Lily was not going to divulge her age to someone she had barely met and would perhaps be working with for a while.
“How do you like working with the big cats? I find them interesting.” She asked.
She loved talking about the cats, it was like they were her family in some small way. “I love it. They got these big personalities and they just do whatever I tell them. I ain’t never seen any animal so well behaved.” It was true that King had hurt Kerr recently but it wasn’t his fault, he was trying to hurt her, he just felt safe around her and was trying to be faithful.
“To be honest I never been around lions or tigers before now. Back home we mostly had mountain lions.” She tended to be one of the ones in the pack that would roam the woods from time to time.
Lily raised an eyebrow at the mention of the cats doing whatever Jean told them. Intriguing. “Maybe they like you.” She was quite curious about how such large creatures could be loyal. The largest creatures she had seen in her life before and after becoming a vampire were horses and wolves.
“They are smaller - mountain lions?” she asked.
She nodded her head at Lily. “Somewhat, they tend to be more slender but the sizes are pretty comparable.” She replied, secretly hoping someday she could change into a lion. She hadn’t quite mastered it yet and she didn’t want to shift too often since her time was already limited.
“You want to meet them?” She asked her, hopeful that the events that had transpired before didn’t change her mind about it.
“I see,” she nodded as she wiped her hands a little more on the handkerchief she kept in the front pocket of her overalls. Lily had walked around the areas where the big cats were housed, wondering what they thought at times. They were wondrous creatures in her mind.
Lily blinked and smiled softly. “Yes, I would like that.” The events had not changed her mind. She could relate to the primal quality of the lion.
A flood of relief washed over her. She was sure after the incident that no one would want to get close to the cats, she was happy Lily did. “Great! Follow me!” She said and lead Lily away from the automobiles toward the animal pens.
It wasn’t apparent why she was allowing someone to come and meet these dangerous creatures or why she had even offered at all but she was happy to oblige.
Lily was sure people were far more dangerous. Nodding, she used a cloth to cover the motor for now and followed Jean towards the animals.
She was thankful to get to know more people in the carnival and to be around the animals seemed to be a simpler and more honest environment.
As she lead Lily into the animal pens she found herself at the gate for the lion pen. She wouldn’t bring her inside of it, not until he had a chance to smell her. “This is King.” She introduced, a smile on her face as the sleeping lion yawned and padded up to her. Her hand came over the gate to give him an affectionate pet on the head.
“He’s the one everyone’s so scared of but he’s a sweetheart, truly.”
Lily kept her hands in the pockets of her overalls as they reached the pens. It wasn’t out of fear, but respect. Looking over the pen, she gazed at the beautiful lion. The vampire had observed him from afar. But now Lily was much more appreciative to be so close to the creature.
“They are right to be scared, but yes he is also a sweetheart.” She nodded. “He’s a majestic creature.”
She smiled at Lily and then back at King. “I agree.” She replied and took her clicker out of her coat pocket. She carefully opened the gate and with her clicker guided King to the spot right beside her. If Kristoph had seen her doing this there would probably a pay dock but she didn’t see anyone else around so she felt like she was safe.
“Don’t worry, he ain’t gonna hurt you. Kings been on his best behavior.” She’d let him size up Lily from where he was at for now and then she’d pull him back into his cage. “You know, lions sleep about 20 hours a day. He thinks it’s showtime right now.” She said with a little chuckle. “Wish I could that.”
The Daywalker remained where she was as she watched Jean open the gate and bring King out. This had to be dangerous just on the face of it. Lily took a look over each shoulder before turning her attention back to Jean and King.
“Mmm, I don’t think he will unless I give him a reason.” Lily smiled warmly. Blinking she looked up from King to Jean. “Mmm, just a relaxing long nap.”
She offered Lily one more smile before using her clicker again to escort King back into his cage where he resumed his nap. “I’d love to nap like that but ain’t enough time left in this life to sleep through it.” And she hadn’t been much, her recent plague had been a bought of insomnia, brought to her by a passive aggressive letter on Christmas Eve.
“Where you from, if you don’t mind me asking?” Some people were guarded about their pasts and it wasn’t her business to bother them none about it.
Lily had wanted to sleep for a long time when her sire was murdered. But she had to run. Thankfully she did sleep a good bit on the voyage across the ocean with Eva and Edward. But at times she still wanted to sleep for a while.
“Hmm? France,” she answered simply. It was easier to speak of just one place if she were to answer the question.
“What’s it like? Back home?” Jean had never even visited anywhere outside of Montana her whole life so she wondered what else was out there.
She had heard stories when she was young, her daddy was the best storyteller there was but that didn’t always stack up to what people said.
“Lovely, relaxed, different air,” Lily answered as she kept her emotions shut down for the most part. There were so many surrounding her memories of Paris and also the coastal town she and her sire had lived.
She didn’t offer much as far as details go but it was enough for Jean to want to go there someday. “Before I joined I hadn’t been anywhere outside Montana. These last two months is the most I’ve travelled in my whole life.” She admitted, casting her eyes down at the ground. It embarrassed her some, especially around so many people from outside the country surrounding her.
Lily was not ready to open up to everyone about her long and dramatic life. But dipping her toe in by voicing a few good things was okay with her. “It is okay. Many stay close to home, some take time to travel.” The daywalker was sure many of the people in the world did not remain in their home country.
She smiled over at Lily. “It ain’t that I don’t wanna, just that I ain’t never gotten the chance.” If it wasn’t clear by the way she talked then her naivety toward it was a dead giveaway. “You’ve traveled, at least to here.” She pointed out.
“You seized your chance that is all that matters.” Lily smiled. She could see Jean’s naivety in hints of her mannerisms. But that was the vampire’s way. “Yes, I have.”
Jean nodded her head at that and watched as her cats dozed off. They didn’t get up to much excitement outside of the show and that was just enough for them. “Well, it was nice to meet you Lily. I should probably start getting ready for my show. You should come by and see it sometime.” She offered, since it was a good show if she did say so herself.
Lily looked over at the cats and smiled, thinking of how she had curled up with her siblings so long ago to slumber. “It was nice to meet you as well,” she replied with a soft smile as she looked back over at Jean. “Perhaps I will.”