The Plot Thickens

IC Time: June 4, 2007 - Evening
Location: Charlene's House/St. Anne's Catholic Church
Synopsis: Helena confronts Charlene and take her back St. Anne's for explanations.
Submitted by: Charlene

Charlene is celebrating, somewhat quietly, the end of the school year. She hasn't seen her final grades yet and doesn't really care. Sitting out on the deck in lounge ware, velour pants and a top - matching purple. She has her feet propped up, a bowl of ice cream on the wicker table, and her iphone cradled in her lap, viewing a movie on it. It's quiet out here, so ear plugs aren't necessary. The lights inside the house are dark, as are the lights on the deck - easier to watch movies in the dark. Occasionally she pauses the movie to treat herself to a spoonful of ice cream.

A month ago, Helena would probably not have done this a month ago, but there have things that have changed in her over the month. So it is with silent steps she makes it up on the deck. She too is dressed rather casually in joggers leggings and a tank top. "Good evening Charlene." She says in a quiet voice as she stands on the edge of the deck.

Charlene's heart takes an extra long time to take the next beat but it eventually does as Charlene swivels her head and holds a hand to her chest, letting out a breath she didn't even realize she had inhaled in a rush. "Don't do that!" She lowers her feet and sets the phone on the table, it's still playing but she ignores it. "Dr. Lyons? What are you doing here?" She gets to her feet, and her normal politeness takes over, "I didn't realize Doctors still made house calls." She smiles. She looks okay tonight, not stressed and no odd smells to her, nor is her heart rate artificially induced.

Oh Emma would be proud, she actually managed a bit of stealth. Her nearly black eyes look over the young woman for a moment before she takes a step closer, "I have come to retrieve something that does not belong to you Ms. Swan." She says simply as she stops a few feet away and looks over the woman. Her nostrils flare to take in her scent and a faint smile touches her lips. "So the boy is good for you afterall…"

"What?" Charlene furrows her brows in confusion, taking a few steps backwards however. Her heart rate is beginning to accelerate. "Boy? Jacob?" She smiles as she reaches for the phone on the table before it gets out of reach. "He's letting me try on my own. It won't work." Frowning, she looks you over hastily trying to figure out what is going on, "What are you talking about, Dr. Lyons?" She glances towards the sliding glass doors leading back into the house.
"Not if you don't believe it won't work. He believes in you, you must believe in yourself though. Trust him to know you are worth believing in." Helena responds in a gentle voice as she leans against the deck railing. Calm at the moment she is as she watches the woman. "I saw you come out of the church with the book Charlene. Pranking priests is one thing, but a blind priest? Surely you are better than that."

"Oh. /That/." She sighs, looking down at the deck, heart rate slowing as she considers how to approach it. "He'll get it back, if he does what the note says." she mutters almost too quietly at the deck. Looking up she bites her lip, "I tossed it in the dumpster there at the Church last night." Shrugging slightly she attempts a smile, letting go of her lip - she attempts to change the subject to one of interest but less uncomfortable for her, "Believing in myself is not really one of my better qualities, or I wouldn't be in this fix to begin with." At least she has a lot of insight, or maybe she just parrots what she learns from shrink visits.
Helena cants her head at Charlene, "And just how was a blind man supposed to make out to the meadow unassisted? That is hardly a fair location you have chosen my dear." She responds still leaning against the railing, arching her brow at the mention of its location. She pushes herself upright again and nods in the general direction of the church. "Well lets go get it." She suggests, motioning toward the deck stairs as if she expects no argument. "Consider this a step on the road to doing the right thing for yourself and others."

"Uhmmmm. No, not such a good thing. It won't still be there, Doctor. It's far too late to get it back that way." Charlene takes a few more steps backwards and sideways towards the glass doors, "I don't make the rules, I just follow them." Now she's beginning to sound a bit angry and her heart rate is certainly jumping ahead. "Just get him to the meadow like the note says…" She attempts to offer helpful advise without explanations.
Helena moves swiftly to the glass doors, holding out her hand to the woman. "But I thought you just dumped it in the dumpsters Charlene." Helena suggests in a voice with just a touch of edge to it. "He is a good friend of mine and I mean to get his book back. I do not plan to leave here until I do."

You say, "Then go get it out of the dumpster." She backs away from you and the door, glancing down at her iphone, the light shining on her face. "I tossed it last night and I doubt it's still there." She bumps slightly into her former chair. "Seriously, just get him to the meadow." She's beginning to sound very worried and stressed. Heart thumping harder and faster by the moment. She glances towards the stairs leading to the lawn, "Just go get it…"

"If the book is in the dumpster why does he need to go to the Meadow? What games are you playing at?" Helena responds as she steps forward from the glass, "Vincent never did anything to you or anyone around here." Yes this sounds a bit personal. "How about we go get it. We can be back before they notice you are gone. Or I can talk to your parents about theft from a church."

"I told you. I put it there /last/ night. It won't still be there." She sighs, dropping her gaze to her phone once again. "Okay. Fine. Let's go look, if it makes you happy." She turns off her phone with a simple press of a button but keeps a hold of it. Turning she begins walking down the steps onto the lawn and turns towards the road. "You coming?" She's more than happy to get Helena away from the house and the threat of talking to her parents.

Change of location to St. Anne's Catholic Church, which is just down the street.

Helena is walking alongside Charlene to the church, moving around the back to where the dumpsters are. "In you go." She says, her voice unforgiving as she speaks to the girl. "What else do you have that he still needs to meet you Charlene if you have thrown the book away?" She asks the young woman again, her voice low. It is not often she kidnaps young women to dig around in dumpsters at night.

Charlene lifts the dumpster lid and glances angrily back at Dr. Lyons. "You aren't listening. It's not going to be /here/, anymore." She does peer into the dumpster in either case. She doesn't have a light, but she uses her iphone to shine inside it as best she can. "Told you, it's not here…" She pulls back and lets the lid fall, with a somewhat loud thump. She's wearing lounge ware and has been kinda foribly directed to the Church for the evening, not that Vincent could tell, but he voice is most likely familiar if he's about. She turns towards Helena, "And… now what?" her voice is exasperated but still a bit edgy, fearful of the woman or at least of what she might do.

Helena looks over Charlene in frustration, "Then why does he still need to meet you out in the field? What else do you have in mind for Vincent? " She asks the young woman with an edge in her voice, "Now what? Now you face Vincent. Now you apologize for stealing his possesion and find out if there is someway to pay him back for such."

One wouldn't think that the alley would be the path to the rectory, but…lo and behold. And you thought there wasn't a rectory, didn't you? But there would have to be, or else where would Vincent sleep? (He sleeps?) As usual, it's fairly late as he's shutting up the church, locking the last door and holding his walking cane as he shoves the keys back into his pocket. As he steps down the familiar stair into the uneven gravel of the alley, he pauses, hearing familiar voices. "Helena?" he says, quietly. He recognizes the other voice, but he doesn't have a name to place with the voice. With a suddenly grim expression, he starts to walk in that direction, rather than the opposite way, which would have eventually taken him to his bed.

Charlene rolls her eyes and simply shakes her head, "Not going to happen. He will call the police." She turns and begins heading out of the parking lot back towards the road and her house which isn't but so far up the road, towards the cemetery. "I am not going to the meadow, he is, if he wants it back, just like the note says." Apparently, Charli hasn't heard Vincent, and even she had, its doubtful she would not be doing the same thing.

As Charlene starts to walk away, Helena strides quickly to catch up to her. Her overly warm hand grips for Charlene's arm. "Consider this the meadow, it looks like he has shown up." She responds in a low voice as she looks up to Vincent. She takes a deep breath before she talks. "Good evening Vincent." She says in a seemingly calm voice, though there is a slight edge to it.

Vincent looks vaguely troubled as he pauses, listening to the exchange. He doesn't know where the meadow is that the note spoke of, but at least he knows a date and time. And based on what he's hearing, it's time to start making plans. "Good evening, Helena. I see you've found…er…the young lady…" He gives a wan smile, and shakes his head. But since Helena seems to be the one with the plan, he waits to see exactly what she will do. Though he does comment, "Perhaps it would be wiser to take this indoors. I'm fairly certain that we'd all rather not be noticed standing around chatting in an alleyway at night."

Charlene glances briefly at her arm, where Helena grasps it, blinking in surprise. She's used to being handled though. At least with the boys she used to hang out with, it was their way of being persuasive. Harmless enough. But Dr. Lyons isn't a boy that likes her. She frowns and doesn't have much choice but to come to a stop, turning about she gazes towards Vincent silently for a few moments, "This isn't the meadow and I don't have it." She looks towards Helena and then back to Vincent, "What do you want me to do? There's nothing I can do now. Just go to the meadow and leave me alone?"

When Charlene stops Helena releases her arm as if she was being burned not the other way around. "Who put you up to it? Who has the book now?" Helena asks finally an exasperated tone to her voice before she looks up to Vincent a bit guiltily. Surely kidnapping girls falls under a sin? "Yes, she says she threw it in the dumpster, but insists you still have to go to the meadow to get it."
Vincent frowns faintly, not quite sure what to make of that. "Well, I suppose we'll have to go to the meadow, then," he says, thoughtfully. "But we're still going to need to know who put you up to it, young lady," he adds, a bit more severely. "If you tell us, we might be able to help you." He still somehow believes that she's in some sort of trouble. But maybe that's just what he wants to believe?

Charlene raises her eyebrows and glares at Vincent, "If I knew who put me up to it, /I'd/ go to the <censored> police." She closes her eyes momentarily. "Sorry." She steps away from Helena looking a bit sheepish, cursing in front of a priest no less. "I will get help and find out, but till then I am going to keep them thinking things are going just fine for them." Now she glares at Helena, "And I'm not interested in explaining it in case they should find out. For all I know, it's /his/ idea." She points at Vincent. "It's his dumpster I am putting these things into, after all."

Helena looks with surprise on Charlene's response. "What else have they had you steal?" Helena finally asks as she finds her tongue again. A bit surprised that this was more involved than just a prank. She glances between Charlene and Vincent and back again, "No, it is not his idea. Why would he steal his own possession and have to pick it up in the middle of the woods. He har…well it would be a difficult task for a priest."

Vincent gives a flicker of a wince as Charlene curses, but then manages to stifle it. "I assure you," he offers, mildly, "That I have much better things to do than sending someone around to steal things from random people…" He catches Helena's slip up, and frowns vaguely, but leaves it alone. He's done his share of harrassing her today. He can allow her one slip up, at least. "You might also ask who they've had you steal them from. If we could find the pattern, we'd at least know why they're trying to get us into a field together," he comments, thoughtfully.

Charlene folds her arms somewhat defiantly across her chest, for what good it does in front of Vincent, holding her phone still in her hand. "The list…." she sighs and shakes her head wearily. "Makes no sense. Trust me." She moves closer towards Vincent ignoring Helena for the moment, "Father, it's not meant to make sense, if it did I wouldn't be doing this." She unfolds her arms and pushes a few buttons on her phone. "Because, they are threatening the life of one of the people they want me to steal from, well two, actually." She glances back towards Helena, "And if they knew what they were doing, they would know better." She shrugs slightly, letting out a weary sigh, "I've stopped trying to figure this out, it's not worth the risk to people's lives. I tried to tell you that yesterday.

"Well we might be able to find a pattern that others don't Charlene. Vincent sees a cross section of people in a day as do I, in different aspects. We might make connections that you won't." Helena replies encouragingly to the woman. Her arms cross over her chest, an apologetic look sent to Vincent though he can't see it. "You need to let adults know that can help you with this Charlene. Your Uncle, Jacob, perhaps even we can help you." A teenage boy being added to the list?

Vincent ponders this for a moment, puzzled by it all. "Trust is a thing to be earned," he comments, distractedly. "Anyhow. They may not know what they're doing, but they almost certainly have a reason for it. Just because the reason isn't entirely evident doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. And I, for one, am a little worried about walking into the forest without a good idea of what I can expect. Not to mention any of those other poor people on that list you're talking about…" He trails off, uncertainly, then turns his head slightly toward Helena, his look questioning. "Helena, what's that noise?"

Charlene glances back towards Helena, shaking her head at the hilarity of the situation. "Jacob. Oh yes. He will certainly fix this. His name is on the list, and his life is being threatened." She turns away angrily from Vincent though it's not directed at him, "If they can hurt Jake…" She holds up her phone, not that it does much good, except maybe for Helena, "See this? It's a nice shiny i-phone. You can't even buy it in stores yet. It has one voice mail and 2 emails on it." She steps foward towards Vincent, still angry, "Want to hear that voice mail, Father?" She presses a button on the phone and it begins to play out into the night.

"Hello, Ms. Swan. I hope you like your new gift. I'd like you to keep it. I do need a few small favors from you in return. If you decide to help me, there will be further rewards. If you decline, there may be consequences. I hope you'll do the right thing. This is no game." There is a pause.

"It seems to me you have some connections with some persons of interest in town. All I need from you is to get me some items of interest from these people. I don't care how you do it. If you decide to accept, I will e-mail you the list to your phone. The items are valuable, but don't worry. You won't be stealing cars or credit cards, just trinkets. Photos, jewelry, maybe a few small antiques. All for a good cause I'm talking at least 40k if you deliver what I want. And, of course, the continued safety of Spencer and your parents, along with Jacob Black. You'll need proof, I'm sure. Now, open your instruction manual for this phone. I'll wait." The voice 'waits'.

"I do mean business. By the way, check your e-mail on your phone. If you decide to accept, e-mail back. If you do choose to go to the police or tell anybody about this, I won't be able to guarantee the safety of your family or Jacob Black no matter how 'strong' he might be." Click, the phone call ends.

Helena looks back to Charlene at Vincent's question, but doesn't stop her using the phone. If its Police, well they should be told, if its her parents, so should they. Jacob could help. Who could she call that wouldn't be of assistance in this. She listens to the message, confusion on her face. "For what purpose?" She asks in the break, but when the line about Jacob comes up, Helena pales slightly and there is a faint intake of breath. "What the Hell?"

A series of expressions crosses Vincent's face, and by the time the message is over, he's completely forgotten to ask what an i-phone is. "This is…either a very bad joke, or something very well-planned. I just…" He trails off, uncertainly. "But what could anyone want with anything of mine?" he asks, growing more confused by the minute. "Okay, let's presume they want to get me into that field somehow. What would they possibly want with a priest?" His brow is furrowed as he tries to come up with a solution and fails. "Who else is on the list? You've played us the message, you might as well tell us the whole thing."

Charlene laughs again, low and almost hysterically. "Oh Father. The people that will end up in that field can take care of themselves and then some. You will be safer in that field than anywhere else I could imagine." She blinks a few frustrated tears from her eyes as her voice cracks. She's obviously either has a greater understanding of some things or none at all. She swallows hard and sniffles, glancing down at her phone pressing a few more buttons, muttering to herself "List… people…." She looks back up, clearing her throat and laughs a bit again nervously as she peruses the list before reading it out loud, "The Cullen Family (any or all), Ramona Vogel & Darcy Bowen (live together), Lorelei Meinkoth & Marshall Starstalker (live together), Jacob Black…." A slightly hysterical chuckle. "…Spencer Swan. Go figure…. Isaac Hawfeather, Thomas Owens, and Regina Quinn…." Her voice trails off. "Like I said, it makes no sense."

Unfortunately Helena does see some connections. She is silent as the list is read out, holding her breath as she actually recognizes most of the list and she turns and walks away from the pair for a moment then back again. Pacing. Her own breath increasing as she paces. "Why Vincent?" That is a part of the puzzle she doesn't understand, her gaze shifting to Charlene before she looks over to the Priest for a moment her brows tight, "What was in that book Father?"

Vincent frowns, trying to figure out what is going on. Many of the names he recognizes, simply from being a member of the community. But he doesn't see the connection that Helena apparently does, and he shakes his head. "Why any of them?" he replies to Helena's question. "Did you see a pattern, Helena?" The last question leaves him fumbling a little, unwilling to divulge exactly what it is. He even flushes just a bit, though it's mostly hidden in the darkness of the alley. "Ah. Well, it's rather embarrassing. It's a journal I wrote, before I…you know. Was called to the priesthood. It would tend to…undermine my work if it got out, but I somehow doubt that's what they wanted it for. As far as I know, no one even knew it existed. Your friend here came looking for a crucifix, if I remember correctly…" He gives a tired little smile, but his brow is still creased with concentration.

Charlene clicks her phone off, shaking her head. Pacing slightly in the gravel of the parking lot. "There's no connection, or if there is, it's buried with false ones." She seems a bit calmer now, at least not hysterical. She's broken out into a light sheen of sweat and is wishing fervently for her little blue pills at this point, however. "The Quileute are connected. Jacob is friends with the Cullens. My cousin married into the Cullens. But…" she simply shrugs, "The rest have no connection, really. I don't even know most of them." She shudders, sighing, glancing back towards where her house and pills are, before smiling weakly at Vincent, "I'm sorry. They didn't specify what to take only what kinds of things to take. That looked like the most personal thing of yours I could find."

Helena looks up to Vincent then to Charlene and shakes her head. "Yeah…what Charlene said." She says quickly, to coverup her own theory. Her pacing doesn't stop though, though her breathing is working on becoming more controlled. She looks over to Vincent finally, "So you were human, think people are going to hold it against you? You are a priest now, it couldn't have been anything too horrible." There is an edge to her voice as she paces.

Vincent gives an uncertain little smile. "Yes. But…people don't see priests as human, most of the time," he says, simply. He gives a little sigh, but he isn't going to argue it with her. Instead, he turns his attention to the puzzle. "Well, I don't know. But perhaps we should talk to some of the people who are being targetted?" he suggests. "At least if more minds are working on the problem, we'll be more likely to come up with an answer."

Charlene frowns shaking her head, "Uh uh. No. I knew this was going to happen." She turns abruptly and begins heading back for the road, "I keep putting things in your dumpster till I can talk to Jake. He will fix it. Till then that keeps everyone safe." She slings the phone in her hand into the concrete and keeps walking.

Helena pages: If only Helena knew that Charlene KNEW about Jacob, and the rest.
You paged Helena with 'Always the problem with Charlene lol. Some people know she knows but she doesn't know about them.'

Helena watches Charlene walk away and nods, "Do that…he is stronger than you give him credit for." Is all she can say as she watches the girl leave. It is not until Charlene walks away that, Helena turns her attention to the priest. She is silent for a moment, "There might be another connection…" She says after a long silence. "Most on that list…infected like I am…or close to someone that is."

Vincent jumps a little, startled as the phone hits the concrete. "Hm. Well, I still think it's a good idea to talk to some of the other people on the list…" He trails off, puzzled as Helena reveals that connection. "Oh?" He frowns a little, uncertainly, then asks, "I thought…Well, that's very strange, that there would be so many people similarly infected." He frowns, quietly, but then shakes his head. "But why would someone be interested in gathering a bunch of sick people together with a priest?" he asks, with a vague sigh. "Aside from the obvious answer that they're just deranged."

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