Coming Clean

Oustide Odette's


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Corrie Rhys

The previous evening was wonderful. For several hours, Corrie was able to completely forget her 'issues'.

These issues are really two-fold. The first issue is that she's either angered a vampire or gained his interest. Either way, that's a dangerous situation for her. The second, is that she lied about her name, using the name of someone else.

This morning, she's been sitting in her office staring at the phone.

She promised Tristan she'd call Rhys, but now that it's daylight and she's stressing about what he might say, she can't actually bring herself to call.

Close to noon (on the hopes that he's gone to lunch), she picks up the phone and dials. When the secretary answers she simply says, "Corrie Kavanaugh for Mr. Owens."


"Just a moment, please," the secretary says with her smooth, professional charm.

Moments later, hardly enough time for the phone muszak to even start, Rhys picks up the phone. "Miss Kavanaugh — Corrie. To what do I owe the pleasure?" His tone is relaxed and charming, entirely unhurried. If he's going for lunch, he's in no rush.


There is a moment where Corrie just wants to hang up. It's immature. Juvenile. She cannot help feeling it though. When Rhys answers, she freezes.

"Mr. Owens. I figured it was best to check in, to see how plans for Dumnonia's launch party were going. If you'd chosen a preferred location or a menu. I can get on it right away if that is the case, book things, call in the planners…"

She takes a deep breath.

"I also need to inform you of something."


"You'll want to get in touch with Daniel Deschenel in our PR department," Rhys says lightly as Corrie makes her initial inquiries. "I'll have my assistant contact you with his details. He's Dumnonia's account coordinator here, though the last report I have suggests he wishes to hold the launch in the Media Spotlight Center," the REM in-house concert venue. "Nothing, however, has been finalized."

As she switches gears, however, he pauses to listen. "Inform me of something," he echoes. "Indeed. What's the problem?"


"Deschenel?" There is a sound of scribbling on a notepad. Perhaps not so technologically inclined, but Corrie is trying to get the name down quickly rather than typing on the laptop. "If you've got a bloke on it, I don't really need to be involved. As long as you're taking good care of my boys I'm happy enough."

When he pauses she cringes. Yes, she really doesn't care to tell him this.

"It will be rather difficult to explain. To begin with, I have made acquaintance with a vampire." Beat. "I have given him a false name."


Sitting at his desk, Rhys arches a brow. "Not to seem impolite," he says after a moment, "but why should this concern me? You're hardly the first one to do either."


"Yes, well normally it wouldn't concern you. Quite frankly it still really shouldn't concern you, but for the fact that I gave him the name Amelia Owens."

Then Corrie waits. While she waits, she gets up and begins to walk around the office. Pacing. Nervously.


Silence hangs at the other end of the line for a span of several heartbeats.

When Rhys speaks again, his voice, though quiet, is both firm and serious. "I see," he says briefly. It's difficult to tell, in those two words, what his emotional reaction to the information is.

He continues in the same vein, however, never raising his voice, keeping his tone entirely matter-of-fact.

"This is what you're going to do, Corrie — and do not argue with me. You are going to hang up the phone. You are going to get into your car and you are going to meet me outside the restaurant where we had our first business meeting. I am going to meet you there. We will not discuss this further on an open line. If you are not there in 30 minutes, I will come find you. Do you understand?"


Open line? Suddenly, Corrie feels as though she's wandered into a Bond movie. She nearly tells him that she's no plans on being a Bond Girl, but the matter-of-factness of his voice chills her to the bone.

"Are…" The argument is there, the stubbornness telling her that the name 'Owens' is common enough that it shouldn't matter.

But it's all something she can explain at the restaurant.



"Thank you," Rhys says briefly, quietly. At least he maintains his courtesy. "30 minutes."

And, with that, he hangs up.


It doesn't take thirty minutes for Corrie to get to Odette's. So she takes the extra ten minutes to prepare herself. Sitting in her vehicle, she fixes her makeup. She adjusts her jacket. It's no secret that she's nervous. More nervous than if this were a business meeting that could make or break her career.

She hesitates as she steps out of the car. She hesitates again at the door. Then she recalls that they're to meet outside and she begins to pace.


Rhys drives up in a silver Aston Martin about 23 minutes after he hung up, which means Corrie didn't wait for very long. He emerges from the car less than a moment after pushing the gearshift into park.

The smile he gives her in greeting is tight, small, and entirely a formality. He gestures along the sidewalk.

"Walk with me," he says by way of greeting.

Be grateful he didn't insist she get in the car and go for a drive with him.


Seeing the Aston Martin just makes her want to reiterate on the whole Bond joke. Really, it's unnerving. Corrie closes her eyes, counts to ten and simply nods. "Fine." Her own expression isn't exactly light. In fact, by this point it's pretty damned grim.

"And maybe you'll see fit to explain the whole spy thing to me somewhere along the way."


Hey. Bond is cool, okay?

And, somehow, the metaphor really does work for the bastard Reese boy: Playboy of the European Dynasty.

"Is there a particular reason you chose to give my grandmother's name to a vampire that had turned his attention on you?" The casual tone of his voice, the quiet pitch of his volume, belies the seriousness of his inquiry.


"It was honestly the first surname that popped into my head." Beat. "Beyond which there are plenty of Owens' in the city." Corrie doesn't add that the only reason she's bothered to own up to it was that Tristan was worried what it may mean for his band.

"I am abjectly sorry, Rhys, but at least I told you rather than have you find out later from another source."


"Yes. You did," Rhys concedes. "And don't think I'm not grateful. I'm sure it doesn't seem a great faux-pas to you. You're right, of course. Owens is a very common name. Amelia Owens, however, was a very powerful Witch, as Witches go. That you happened to choose that name will be seen in a very poor light by my brothers. And it would be in both our best interests that their involvement remain… peripheral at best, don't you agree?"


"Bloody hell."

Corrie keeps walking though her movements are extremely tense at this point. "Rhys, Amelia is my middle name. It seemed simplest to me to use it so the lie was only a half-truth." Biting her lip, she shifts herself in front of him and then stops.

"We're a rather secretive lot, though you know that. Outside of our own covens we don't usually keep track of other witches unless they're entwined with our own family lines. Had I known, I would never have. I shouldn't have to begin with, but it's happened now and there's little I can do to take it back."

Sighing, she starts to shift to the side again and glances up at the sky. "I apologize profusely. At this point, it's the only thing I can do other than break off any and all contact."


There is a part of Rhys that is privately amused it was his name she chose to appropriate. But that humour is lost in the fact that he's now going to have to deal with Gideon over all this — and the eldest of the legitimate Reese scions has made it abundantly clear he thinks the Kavanaugh witch to be more of a nuisance than anything else.

So, he gives Corrie a brief nod. "There's little point in that," he responds evenly. "The damage is done. I suggest, instead, that you choose an alternate alias to use in the future."

He continues to walk, occasionally leading her down seemingly random side streets — though it's all in the open safety of the mid-town neighbourhood. "You do need to understand the awkward position you've put us into, however." A wry smile touches his lips. "And by 'us' I mean you and I. If anyone traces Amelia Owens to my mother…"

He stops now, and turns to face her.

"My father's protection only extends so far. The only reason either she or I have survived this long against the Dynastic forces of my brethren has everything to do with the fact that they do not perceive any threat from us — I am not in the line of succession, so my mother remains a blip on the radar. A person only my stepmother truly despises. If she attracts the attention of a vampire, however — one that's actually looking for you — that will be seen as a threat."

A beat. He begins to walk again.

"More than that… Appropriating my name, however innocently, may be misconstrued by my brothers as presumption on your part. I, of course, understand that was not your intent… but you've met my family."



Corrie doesn't see any bit of humor in this whatsoever. An innocent lie (although none can really be all that innocent, or they wouldn't be lies), has put her in a rather awkward and precarious position.

"This would've been far easier had I just chosen Sarah Stewart…" This is mostly muttered under her breath as she continues on.

"I will make it my duty to protect her with my life then. Family is important, and I never meant to jeopardize yours for the sake of protecting mine." There is a great deal of sincerity in her voice. She means it, even if it would kill Prudence.

"I am supposing that them assuming presumption is a pretty dire thing?"


Rhys eyes Corrie for a moment, as she swears her life to the protection of Gwen Owens. He doesn't respond, deciding to hold that card for later. It might be worth it to have her owe him on that level. Or it might be better to just let it ride. So, he merely moves on to the next point. "Had you assumed the Reese name," he comments, almost idly, "you'd likely find yourself starring in the modern, English equivalent of an old-fashioned shot-gun wedding."

He lets that sink in for a moment. Then:

"I think we'd both prefer to avoid that."


"Yes, I should think I would like to avoid being tied to your brother at all costs." Gideon, or whomever else that may include. Corrie crosses her arms over her chest in a protective measure, then shrugs her shoulders.

"Personally, I'd prefer to have a choice. One that Mum won't kill me over. As I said, family is important."

She pauses in her steps and glances over at him. "I truly am sorry, Rhys. I would have told you sooner but to be honest, I was a tad nervous at the potential of upsetting you."


Rhys arches a brow briefly at that, and chuckles dryly. "Indeed. Well. I am glad you told me. It is much better to hear from you than to hear it from the vampire."

He pushes his fists into his jacket pockets. "Speaking of… Did you happen to get the Vampire's identity?"


"Aidan Boyle. He owns the restaurant Flare? Good food, but I doubt I'll be recommending it all things considered." Corrie has no issues mentioning the name. After all, she did potentially but Rhys and his mother in a bit of danger unknowingly.

"I don't know much about him beyond the fact that he is a vampire. I've had that verified outside of the direct source as well." Not that Dr. Watson ever came right out and said that Aidan was a vampire.

Finally she exhales a whoosh of air. "You're really not angry?"


Truthfully? Rhys has sublimated his anger. He hasn't decided just how angry he is or isn't. "Aidan Boyle," he echoes. Well, there's the identity, anyway. That's something, at least. "Who verified it for you?"


"Dr. Watson." Beat. "Sean Watson. He's a professor at the university where my sister studies." Corrie eyes him, knowing he's not answered her last question. Figuring that he is actually quite angry, she falls silent. She's apologized as much as one person can. The only way to make it up now is via showing him how sorry she is.


Rhys nods at that. "Thank you." He makes a mental note of Dr. Watson's name and makes a note to double check Jean's class schedule. (Like he hasn't check up on all the Kavanaughs? Please.)

A beat.

"We're going to have to handle this very carefully, Corrie. God willing, all this will be nothing more than paranoia on my part." He gives a tight smile. "Then again, it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you."


Carefully. Really. How much interaction is Corrie going to have with a Reese?

"I doubt that anyone will be out to get you. Me? That's debatable." There's a grim grin upon her face, and she chuckles darkly. "I bet you a quid that it'd make your life far easier if I simply let the wanker bite me. Then he'd not have reason to go off and bother your mum."


Rhys barks a laugh at that, and glances to her. "Let's not do anything rash, shall we?" he says dryly. "I've never considered donating blood to anything other than an approved blood bank. If you must know, Corrie, Vampires are probably the one creature in the supernatural world Sorcerers avoid. I'd advise you to do the same."


"I'll do my utmost." Though Corrie is well aware that if a vampire demands her presence, there's little she can do about it. She may have talked a good game to Dr. Watson, but even then…

"On the off chance that there is another incident, is there a more secure line you'd rather I contact you on?"


"Mm," Rhys nods to that. He shoves his hand into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet. He pulls out a folded silver clip and pulls a thin slip of mica from it. "Use this," he says simply. "Keep it secret, if you will." A beat. A wry, twisted smile. "Keep it safe. It will allow you to communicate with me without outside ears listening in."


"Use… mica… to contact you?" Corrie raises her brow at that. "Exactly how is that going to work? I know you lot have wonderful new technologies but…" Even she can't see how to make a call with it. Though she does very carefully dig out her pocketbook and set the piece of mica within a plastic folder inside of it.


Rhys chuckles at that. "Corrie, please. It's magic. I am a sorcerer, after all." Though, to be fair, that's a piece of Witch magic — as she'll discover if she decides to investigate it. "Hold it and use it like a data recorder."


"Alright." The Kavanaugh Coven has quite a bit of magic between them, but this isn't a piece she's seen before.

It doesn't mean that she won't research it.

"I'll keep you apprised of the situation then."


Rhys' route has taken them circuitously around the neighbourhood, back to their cars. "Thank you," he says simply, once more nodding. "I really do appreciate it."


"It's the very least I can do, considering I forced it upon you inadvertently in the first place." Corrie shifts her gaze toward him, shaking her head.

"You do realize that were I not aware that you were magically inclined, I'd believe you to be some sort of Bond, with your very own version of Q, right?"


Rhys laughs at that. "I have a reputation to maintain," he says lightly. Probably a reason he didn't refute the paparazzi photo, too. "And the Aston is a fine, fine car."


"That it is. Suits you."

Corrie glances to her own vehicle, and blushes slightly. "I should go. I didn't exactly tell Randall I was leaving, and he's already been on me since I've wound up in a tabloid, and lost a new client…." Beat. "Actually lost her, not lost the business…"


Rhys blinks a little at that. And then chuckles lightly once more. "Well done, Kavanaugh," he says. He glances at her car — no doubt a far less ostentatious model than his. "Perhaps I'll get you a GPS for the future." He even offers a bit of a saucy wink at that. His lips twitch a little.


"It wasn't my fault," she defends. "Celebutantes tend to slip away from their PR people rather well. They want to be in the tabloids. It's their parents that would rather keep them out of print media." Corrie shakes her head and laughs. "Needless to say, Owens, were I not privy to the fact that the majority of what you do is a ruse, I'd almost feel sorry for your father."


Rhys chuckles again. "You'd be surprised what my father will put up with. And won't." He gives a mild shrug. "My father probably has the most exactly crafted reputation of all of us."


"No doubt. He'd have to, considering his position. If it weren't so carefully crafted the rumor mills would be filled." High profile businessmen are just as much in the tabloids as celebrities and celebutantes.

Corrie rests her hand on the door of her car, and then smiles. It even reaches her eyes for once, causing a happy sort of twinkle. "It was nice to see you again, Rhys. Even if it was due to poor circumstances."


Now, Rhys gives a light nod of his head. "As always, Corrie. I do hope, however, that we won't have to meet like this all that often." A low chuckle. "Else I'll have to start crafting your reputation."

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