2007-02-20: The Man Who Wasn't There

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif

Guest Starring: The Haitian

Summary: As they would later find out, the Gomezes realize that someone knows where they are….

Date It Happened: February 20th, 2007

The Man Who Wasn't There


Lacey Lancaster's Lake House, Bridgehampton, NY

Their second day in the lake house passes…sort of without incident. Elena is still looking at the cell phone in her hand. Unlike the usual red, it's a more neutral color. She flips it shut with a quiet click, and moves away from the kitchen to try and look for her father. Did he go out and try the heated pool? He was asking about it the other day.

"Papa?" she calls out. "Papa, where are you, uh….someone just called but I don't know what to make of it…"

Night has fallen, though the property is brightly lit. There are small lamps set up over the grounds, and a few around the pool area where the glass cover keeps the water sterile and clear from the elements. She's padding around in a pair of fuzzy slippers, shaped like Donkey from Shriek. Her hair is up in a ponytail, and she's wearing a pair of well-worn jeans and a tank top. Jeez…..where was everybody?

Ramon is, indeed, in the pool. He's pulling himself through the heated water with even, slow breaths. He's no Olympic swimmer, but he used to do it daily in college. He enjoyed it. He's enjoying it now, finding himself thinking pleasantly of not very much. There's nothing to /do/ here but wait, after all. He can't /do/ much. But he catches Elena's voice enough to know to come up. "Chiquita?"
Eric is…hiding from the lights. All this brightly lit stuff bothers his eyes after a moment, so he's on the sofa in the living room with only a few indirect lights on. However as Elena's voice drifts though the house his head pokes up over the couch and he blinks slightly owlishly. "I'm right here Elena, no need to yell!" He calls towards her, shifting around so he's sitting and not lying on the thing, and then yawwwwwning once before looking back towards her. "What's up?"

The young woman slides the glass door open leading to the pool, Elena taking a step out. "I'm sorry but I didn't want to disturb you while you were at the pool." Indeed, it's been a while since she's seen her father this relaxed. "Um….I don't really know what to make of this, but Benjamin Winters just called. He said he's -back home- and that he'll be getting a new cell phone soon and he'll call back once he has a new number, but he says he's sorry for worrying you." She frowns. "I wouldn't have believed it at first but….I know a friend of mine who….well. If these were the same guys? It would be the exact same pattern. Take them, do whatever with them, and then return them to their homes without realizing they've been gone."

Ramon stares for a moment. "Well," he says at last. "How did he sound? Scared? Upset? Or pretty much okay?" His brows are furrowing, down and down and down, and now the lines on his face, which had relaxed after a few days at the lake house, are starting to show up again.

"He sounded okay. Relieved too, I think," Elena says, flashing a quick smile at Eric when he rises from his slumber on the couch. "But he didn't sound like he was scared. Just….hesitant. Like he's confused about what just happened." She perches on one of the poolside chairs.

The doorbell rings. Not the buzzer for the gate - the bell to the front door of the lake house itself.

Now Eric is starting to look just a little bit worried as well. His eyes get slightly wide as he blinks slightly, sitting up just a little bit more. "…I guess I don't know Benjamin…" He begins before he blinks slightly and shrugs. He smiles back before he opens his mouth to mention something…

And then the doorbell rings.

That makes a slightly worried and very surprised look on his face. "…that’s…that’s…strange. There wasn't a buzzer for the gate." He murmurs before he stands up slowly and looks around. "…why don't you two…just stay there. I'll get the door." He murmurs before he starts to stride over, though he does pause to try to peek out the window, pulling a shade apart slightly to see who might be there.

Ramon gets out of the pool, drying off. He pulls some jeans on over his wet swim trunks, and pulls on his white shirt wet too. "I'm going to call him after we find out what's going on with the door," he rumbles softly. "On the surface, my initial thought is…great. Its all done. We can all go home and I can start making money again." Only its not that simple is it?

"Yeah but…what about what that girl said to you?" Elena says. However before she can continue that though, the doorbell rings. She looks over there, startled slightly, and then she stands up. "It's a little too late for the mail, no? Maybe it's Eric's friend. I hope he doesn't kick us out," she says, looking a little concerned.

At the door stands a tall, black man. The lights around the property, paired with the night the lights try to battle, illuminate him in half blue, half shadow, and his dark skin gives his silhouette an almost other-worldly quality. He's wearing dark hues with a lighter, tan leather jacket. His eyes, bright white and contrastingly black, intense centers, settle automatically on Eric when he peeks through the shades. Who has come to call but the Haitian? Staring at Eric, he slowly brings a pointer finger to his lips: a silent 'shh'.

"I don't know," Ramon says quietly. "I really don't. There's the pistol whipping. There's that girl who took you hostage." He scrubs a hand over his face. "I just don't know, Elena. Except the first step is to talk to him. Make sure he's alright. After I've done that maybe I can arrive at a second step. I'm not a hero, Elena. I'm just a guy, you know?"

"I don't know," Elena says simply, standing up from the chair and oblivious to Eric's predicament at the present moment. " 'True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.' Arthur Ashe." She hands him a towel and she smiles at her father encouragingly. "I guess it really all depends on how someone defines heroism, or what a hero is." She steps inside the house. "Come on, Papa. It's getting cold out."

Eric pauses a moment, his eyes widening as the shhhh. Then he just sloooooooowly lets down the shades and swallows slowly, looking at the door. A glance then to Elena, and he blinks, then softly, quietly steps towards Elena. "…so…" He murmurs very quietly. "…the guy that you saw arguing with the lawyer? Was he…tall…black…weird eyes, tan jacket." Pause. "Cause he's outside."

The Haitian tips his head back and regards the window, then the door, when Eric looks away. He clasps his hands behind his back. And he waits.

Ramon freezes. And then? He thinks it through. "Let him in," he suggests. "There's three of us. He knocked." A pause. "He's trying to help with my wife's case." Another pause. "In retrospect, he didn't work all that hard at catching me, but when he wiped Elena they were somewhere public. I want to hear what he has to say."

When Eric says what he does, Elena is inside the house in a flash. Her eyes fall on the Haitian. Yes. This was indeed the man arguing with Xander…or rather, Xander yelling at him while he remained quiet. "…..were you the one who slipped the note in my hand?" she asks, taking a few steps forward. "Because if you did…..thank you so much. I don't know how much I'm missing, but I'm starting to think it's well worth the exchange." She pauses, and offers. "Would you like anything? Coffee, or…?" It's not her house, she won't even ask -how- the man managed to find them when they had been as careful as laymen could in this position. But she offers because that's just the way she was. She was raised to be hospitable, you know!

"…and…that was not the reaction I expected," Eric says for just a second as he stares at the suddenly open door and Elena outside talking to the odd black man before he just shakes his head. "Right, fine…just…invite him in and stuff…I'll go see if we have coffee," He sounds…not quite hysterical…but very exasperated.

"Do not be afraid." This is told to Eric specifically; he is, clearly, the least welcoming of the three. Though he nods to a solid 'yes' to Elena's first question, regarding the note, the Haitian says nothing to her offers, only giving her a barely imperceptible shake of his head as he steps inside. He enters only as far as that - enough to be in the threshold and close the door, no further. His intense - yet calm - stare moves over the Gomezes. "You know things," his accented voice begins slowly, "That you should not. I know things… that you /do/ not."

Ramon steps well back from the Haitian, if only because even though he's suggesting a nonviolent discussion, he is not brimming with trust. And he is not comfortable with the white noise buzz in his head. It makes him feel woozy. He quirks an eyebrow at the Haitian, as if waiting for him to expand on those statements.

"…..why are you here?" Elena is brave enough to venture this, at least, stepping from around her father who has managed to step in front of her. She looks the calmest out of all of them - then again, it could be her still well-undiscovered abilities at work keeping her in a relaxed, clear state of mind. "….and how did you find us? Were you sent here?" He didn't seem to be the hacker sort of person, something about him screamed 'Old World' to her. Something odd and dark and mystical and indescribable. She didn't know what to make of it.

"You must keep what you know to yourselves." The man's warning words tumble forth with his distinctive accent. "I cannot help you if you do not." The Haitian is silent, as if waiting to gauge their reactions while his own demeanor remains the same.

Ramon goes over the list of people he's said anything to over in his head. He realizes its pretty much just Eric, Elena, and the DA, whom the Company already knows about. He nods his head, scratching at his beard, willing to agree to this for now. He's not exactly taking out a newspaper press release from here at the lake house.

"Alright," Elena says softly, taking a seat on the couch and looking over at the Haitian. But what she really wants to know is why. Why is this man so willing to help? He didn't know any of them. If he did work for the Company, they were just assignments to him. But why go through all the trouble? Still, questions to be asked at another time. But she's still focusing on the man, half in awe - there's a bit of a presence around him she couldn't help but gape at. It was ….well, sort of creepy, but also strangely soothing. She didn't really know why.

Eric did come back with coffee, he seems to have taken it literally, the offer of hospitality. He's got a pot in one hand and set of cups in the other. "If your going to stay for a bit you might as well sit," He finally sighs towards the Haitian as he returns, though at least he seems to have relaxed slightly and isn't crawling up the walls.

The Haitian man has many answers, but he is not free with them. He repetitively glances at Eric now that he's back. Every glance seems to demean the young man's trustworthiness. He does, however, sit down on the chair nearest the door; it only intensifies his serious exterior, as he leans forward now when he speaks. "I know… about the person who killed your mother…" He looks from Elena to Ramon. "…Your wife." Pause. "Once upon a time, the company I work for took him in, made him safe. They were naive for many years… due to his power."

Ramon's eyes widen as the connection that had been escaping him becomes clear. He sits down. He misses the chair. Despite this utter lack of dignity he just stares at the Haitian as if he had made the chair. He opens his mouth, as if to speak, only nothing comes out.

She almost couldn't breathe. Elena fumbles for one of the coffee cups that Eric brought. She needs something. Caffeine. Something. ANYTHING. When she takes the pot, she fills it up, and …..well considering no one seems to want one, she takes a sip. The young Starbucks barista? Yeah. She -quit- coffee. But she's drinking it now because she's too young for booze. "Is….you mean he really could…?" She pauses and she clears her throat. "Papa heard a theory that maybe this person can somehow…. -tell- you what to do, and you do it. Was that his….gift?"

And Eric…Eric just sits and listens and is nice and silent and quiet and leaves the coffee for anyone that wants it. He offers Elena cream, sugar, and other than that he just sits back and listens. This is…something huge, but something that really doesn’t have much to do with him.

The visitor lets the assumptions sit exactly where they are for now; though he doesn't confirm them, he does not deny them, and he's said his part. "He believes that he will achieve eternal life and reach God. …God is not waiting for him. He is … damned. But he has… faith, and that makes him more dangerous than his ability." He stands up and is tall once more. "It is not time yet," he adds.

"Not time for what?" Ramon springs up, and his voice is rough as he does. "What do you mean by that, its not time? What does that mean?" He seems to recognize soon enough that he is basically repeating himself, but all that does is start him pacing in an agitated fashion.

"Did he escape your custody?" Elena asks from where she is, just when Ramon stands up hurriedly when the Haitian stands up from his seat. "You said the people you work for took him in and tried to protect him. What happened?" At least now? They know it's a guy. It's not much help but they're learning more and more every time this man shows up.

Eric…looks rather confused. In fact he looks very confused. However he doesn’t still want to speak up and interrupt, this is all Ramon and Elena's show, at least until something tries to jump in him and chew on his face or something. Till then he'll just sip his coffee and enjoy the drinks.

Not time for…? The answer doesn't come, not to that question. "Yes," the visitor tells Elena. "I was not present at the time." That is an answer in more than one ways to how, exactly, the man escaped custody, but the Haitian doesn't clarify. The man steps back, once, toward the door, and rests his hand on the knob.
Well Ramon's not going to jump him or anything. "Thank you," he says. Because the guy didn't have to come out here. Because the guy didn't have to tell them a thing. Because he gave them something and even if he's not sure what to do with it…its something.

Elena stands up when the Haitian turns to leave, watching him rest his hand on the door. "….thank you again," she says, sincerely. She's trying to calm her heart here, it's beating on her ribcage like a beast waiting to be set free. But she doesn't stop the Haitian, nor does she demand more answers. As far as she's concerned, she's lucky that the man is even helping them. She can ask him the whys another time, if he deigns to ever answer her.

The Haitian man opens the door a crack, regarding those in the lake house evenly before he steps out into the night air completely. He looks over his shoulder before he closes the door behind him. "I was never here. Forget."

Eric just watches him curiously. For a first time meeting…well…it seems that its not that bad a first impression. He's had a lot of thanks so far, so the young man just simply nods. Never here, right. Got it. The young man then blows out a long sigh before he smiles and shakes his head. "Well…that was…an interesting little meeting tonight now wasn't it." Though in the back of his mind, he's rather worried about…just how the man found them.

"I'm not one to look at a gift horse in the mouth but I'm still wondering why he's helping us…." Elena says, standing up so she could move over to where Eric is so she could pour herself more coffee. She takes a gulp after adding cream and sugar. And hey, she's putting all her Starbucks experience to good use here. It's been a long time since she's had coffee. "He's different from the rest of them somehow. The ones in Central Park, they were all so……forceful. -Mean- even." She wrinkles her nose a bit, and looks over at Eric. "Hey, are you going into town tomorrow?" she asks suddenly.

Ramon says, "He's either leading us into some really elaborate trap which I don'…" he pauses. "Hey." He asks, to the room in general. "How the Hell did he find us?" In the surprise of his visit and in all the Haitian had to say, he forgot that very /crucial/ detail.

"I have /no/ clue how he found us, but it worries the hell out of me," Eric admits in a slight sigh. The young man though shakes himself out of it. "Well he did seem nicer than the guys that left the boss there and lying on the ground where I found him that one time." He says before he glances back towards Elena and blinks slightly. "…er…why? I mean I can if you need me to pick something up."

"No I was wondering if you could spend a few hours with me," Elena says, digging into her backpack and pulling out a mini disc. "I've been trying to come up with ways to try and figure out how each of your abilities work, and once I figure that out, it would be easy to figure out the limits of your abilities. I also want to see just how far each of your control goes, what triggers the control…..and just how far you can push it. I mean, if we're going to live with these….might as well figure out what we can about them, right?"

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