A Night of Revelations

Von Richter's Study

The room is remarkably large, but well appropriated. A dark hardwood floor is broken only near the small hearth by stone tile meant to protect the wood from the heat. It is covered with rich Persian rugs for the sake of warmth, though the temperature of the room remains constant year-round. The walls are lined with mahogany shelves from floor to ceiling, all of which are filled with books of various ages from various eras. Two shelves are are hidden behind ornate glass doors reinforced with wood and brass and opened only by a key. The glass is smoky, making it difficult to identify the contents within.

A large desk sits off to one side, a high backed chair behind it. Upon it sits a green-and-brass banker's lamp beside a remarkably modern laptop computer and a scattering of stationary across the green and brown leather blotter. By the hearth at the far end is a cluster of arm chairs and a small love seat, all fashioned of leather and wood, bespeaking a gentleman's study from a much earlier age.


Characters

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Erik Elspeth Aidan Emily

The First Night of Waning for the month of May finds Erik von Richter in his study, as is his custom in the early hours of the evening when most of his lesser brethren have only recently returned to alertness. He sits in the high-backed chair, elbow on its arm. One hand holds a piece of paper with neat, black type upon it. The other holds a glass of brandy, its rich liquid glittering in the firelight. His expression is pensive, but largely untroubled. His dark eyes scan the words on the page, but whatever information is there does little to excite him.

-

The first thing Elspeth does on any given evening is check in with Erik. Mostly to see if there's anything special he needs her to take care of before she goes off to have her own fun. Tonight is no different, even though she would rather not be here whatsoever. It's close to the full moon, and she'd much, MUCH rather be hiding in her nice, white flat, with a very pretty little boytoy to keep her occupied.

"Erik," she says, entering the room quietly.

-

Aidan has put it off long enough. Erik hasn't summoned him, but he knows it's just a matter of time. Better to head that problem off at the pass rather than have another surprise visit at Flare or be called to the elder vampire's office when there are other things Aidan would rather be doing.

He's directed to the office upon arrival, and plays along politely, pretending that he didn't know where the location was. Aidan sees Elspeth duck in ahead of him, and he debates lurking in the hall - or leaving. Logic prevails, however, and he gives a sharp, knock upon the door to announce his arrival.

-

Emily stands to the side of the chair and slightly behind, her face pink with the activity of the last day. She's recently shifted back and still has that earthy scent, though it's mixed with the scent of flowers. She wears a pair of dark pants, light, short sleeved shirt— watch, no rings. Dark flats are on her feet; easy to kick off if need be. Comfort is the word of the evening.

"I'll send the city a few extra pounds in taxes next year," is given with a touch of a untroubled smile. "To fill the holes." Dark eyes flicker to the page that holds most of Erik's attention; the format looks familiar..

Elspeth's entrance brings her a little straighter, her mouth settling more into a fine, straight line. Her nose wrinkles slightly in response to the fact that there are more vampires coming, a physical reaction to proximity. She doesn't expect to be greeted by any entering vampire, and she's not surprised, or offended when her expectations are met.

-

Erik looks up as the younger vampire enters. "Elspeth. Good evening. Something troubles you?" He reads her body language well. More than that, her dislike of his pets is well-known to him — and tolerated only for so long as she continues to leave them be.

Emily is not always at his side, these days. Though a favoured pet, she needs to have a long enough leash to prove her worth to him. But, the nights of the full moon always bring her 'home' to him. And, yes, he does take some small satisfaction from that fact.

As Aidan raps on the door, he turns to glance toward it. "Come." The word is spoken clearly, with a note of command to it. The vampire lord is unafraid of whomever it may be on the other side of the heavy oak. Were it someone seeking him harm, they wouldn't be there.

They'd never have gotten so far.

-

"Quite a few things trouble me," Elspeth replies with a smirk. It's been a month, it's still a difficult thing for her to deal with, but she's trying to channel the murderous rage into something more… beneficial.

"At the moment, I seek a few days leave. I need to pick up some… effects… from Egypt."

Aidan's arrival draws a glance, though she shows no outward sign of relief to have another friend in the room. It will help keep her behavior 'proper' while in Erik's presence.

-

With the command given, Aidan enters the room. Electric blue eyes make a quick, careful sweep as he enters, a well-ingrained habit: always to familiarize himself when entering into an unfamiliar location. He might have been to Erik's office more than once, but it's not often enough for Aidan to call it either familiar or safe.

His gaze lingers a moment on Emily standing behind the chair. Aidan's face remains a study of bored indifference, but his eyes flare another story. It's told briefly, the space of a single heartbeat, blue orbs flashing a curious mix of intrigue and hungry covetousness before settling back into a perfectly clear neutrality.

A polite nod is given to the man behind the desk. "Erik." And then, "Elspeth." This isn't the place for the … informality of their relationship; not that Aidan thinks that Erik doesn't know about it. It's simply that there are … expectations of behavior.

-

Egypt?

Emily has nothing to say at the moment, instead waiting her turn. She's not here often; she can't as she simply shouldn't be seen here. As a result, she simply comes in during full moons when she's away from work, away from her flat. None of her co-workers; no, strike that— most of her co-workers wouldn't recognize a random fox, a loose pet silver fox, running around and in to Erik's residence. The connections simply wouldn't be made— she hopes.. she's betting.

During the rest of the month, she's at work, doing what she needs and continues to be an exemplary employee.

Aidan's entrance jogs her memory; has she seen him before? It's fuzzy, but there's an odd familiarity.. knowledge as opposed to an intimacy. Suddenly self-conscious, however, her arms rise to cross before her, closing herself off, protecting herself?

That feeling of knowing him, or thinking she does.. it's nothing that she lingers upon, however, even if she watches him now, her head quirked— reminiscent of her animal. All she needs is the big ears..

-

Erik permits the faintest lift of a brow in response to Elspeth's words. "Do you?" The question comes out more as a dry statement. "Effects," he echoes. "From Egypt? Whose effects? And for what purpose?"

Aidan, he greets with a faint nod of acknowledgement. "Good evening, Aidan," he says presently. "How nice of you to drop in." For the moment, however, he waits upon Elspeth's response, rather than pursuing the Irishman's business.

-

"Seth's."

Elspeth is about to elaborate when she notes Aidan's interest. It takes a great deal of willpower to reign the snarky comment back, but she does turn to him and roll her eyes. "You too?"

Returning back to Erik's questions, she poses the picture of the perfectly doting, if not spoiled daughter. "He kept journals. Documentation that I do not think you want getting into the wrong hands."

-

Aidan doesn't have any choice but to wait. It might bother him if not for Erik's inquiry to Elsie. That surprises him. He thinks that certainly the Master of the City would have known, unless Elsie chose not to share … or he's simply forcing her to talk about it. It could really go either way.

The blonde vampire's comment earns her lifted brows but nothing more. He certainly isn't going to get into a discussion with Elsie regarding preferences, not here … and he has no interest in discussing the truly unique appeal of Erik's shifter.

-

Emily remains standing at the side of the chair, slightly behind, her back straight in the presence of the vampires. Any right-thinking, right-acting shifter wouldn't be here, in the den.. but there's a gradual deadening of that fight or flight (in her case flight) reflex.

The conversation, for the most part, goes right over her head. She's got ears and eyes, but nothing makes sense, and obviously, it's not supposed to.

But.. Egypt? Dr. Watson has been on and off about Egypt, and vampires for the last couple of months. The presence of journals, the hint of journals there would send the necromancer over the top and on the first flight out— if he knew. Obviously, he doesn't.

And he won't.

Not from her.

Her gaze flickers towards Aidan, her arms remaining in their place, crossed before her. She studies him, but there's no real recognition that flares in those eyes.

-

Erik knows his daughter far too well not to read the underlying sarcasm. And her obsequiousness is, on this occasion, a trifle grating as a result. The only clear sign of that fact, however, is a dangerous darkening of his eyes that serves more as the faint shade of a caution to anyone observant enough to take note of it.

Still, as she mentions the former-necromancer-turned-vampire — a man effectively his grandson — his lips purse faintly in thought. Instead of responding directly to her, he forces her to wait while he turns to Aidan.

"And what is it brings you here, lad?" he asks the restaurateur, now. He assumes it has something to do with the current Watson Sem, not the long-since dusted one.

He's well-aware of Aidan's trouble with Emily, but he did not invite the other man to come during the full moon, when the vixen would be present. That Aidan chose to come now is his own doing… and perhaps speaks of a desire to see her despite any protestation to the contrary.

-

It's on the tip of Elspeth's tongue to point out that she'll not touch one of Erik's toys, no matter how much dislike she takes to the woman. The caution is noted though, and she keeps silent until addressed once again.

-

Never was there a claim on Aidan's part that he didn't wish to see Emily or to be in her presence. If anything, the vampire is deeply intrigued by Erik's pet and would cherish any opportunity to see and observe her. To compare and contrast, to find out what makes her tick, how her mind works … to see if there is any similarity beneath the pale, soft skin to the woman who gave Aidan the gift of immortality. The fact that she has been marked and claimed by Erik is all that has stayed Aidan's hand and stopped him from seeking out the little shifter on his own.

Still, his attention does not stray to Emily again, and it won't until he's either done here, or Erik's attention returns to Elspeth.

"I wanted to report on Dr. Watson, as requested."

Aidan pauses to compose his thoughts, as he doesn't think Erik will appreciate a wry, He's an amusingly animated academic who can babble for hours and really needs to get a life.

"He's still scrambling to find any and all information he can about Egypt and Imef, but thus far, he's going in circles. I think his next plan is another trip to Egypt, to meet with a few people there and ask a lot of questions."

-

In the den of lions, Emily knows it. She's become inured to the fear, which isn't the same as fearless. There is a healthy dose of— knowing exactly where she fits in the scheme of things. While she wouldn't go so far as to ever consider herself a trifle or a toy, there's that bit in the back of her mind that knows, that screams, that she's dispensable.

All that is smoothed over now.. as calm as a lake on a clear, blue day..

Erik's move to Aidan and her business causes her gaze to flicker over to Elspeth, to see how the woman reacts to being 'put on hold' for the moment before she returns to Aidan. His observation brings a smile to Emily's lips, a genuine affection even while alarm klaxons should be going off in her head in the simple fact that they're discussing him. Everything Aidan says is true enough— she knows how he gets wrapped around the axle, as it were, spinning in place until the merest bit of traction is put under his wheels, and he's jumping forward again, accelerating with every second.. with ever bit of knowledge gleaned.

"I haven't heard of any trip requisitions yet." Her words are softly spoken in the room, and it's not .. challenging. Simply stating a fact, and perhaps one that she will be directed to check on, come her next work day.

-

And Aidan's words give Erik the piece of information he wanted before answering his Child. He glances briefly to Emily as she offers her soft-spoken piece as well, though he also knows the currency of her knowledge in that regard may be limited. It's a gamble as to what the Wainwright Witch might or might not have mentioned to her shifter friend in passing. The good doctor can be terribly discrete when she wants to be, after all. So, just because the lab tech hasn't heard, doesn't mean the trip isn't in the works.

Indeed, knowing how that particular Department team works…

"Both of you will go to Egypt," the vampire lord says shortly to the two before him. "I want every scrap, every shred of Seth Watson's effects, no matter how seemingly insignificant, brought to me. And I want you to see to it. Trust no one else with this. And if anyone from the Department tries to interfere, destroy them."

A beat.

"Especially if it's the current Dr. Watson. I want him nowhere near his ancestor's work."

His dark eyes meet the gazes of each of them in turn. "Am I understood?"

-

"Both of u — oh." Elspeth glances back at Aidan, nodding. For a second she seemed almost… happy? Elated at the thought of being able to drag Sean off to Egypt and…

"Yes, of course." Beat. "Aidan, please let me know when you have your schedule cleared, and I will arrange the flight."

Another glance is shot in Aidan's direction. "Absolutely." So much for getting on Watson's good side.

-

There is something refreshing in not being in human; in having centuries to practice that schooled look of neutrality and affected boredom that Aidan wears like a medal of honor. In fact, it could be argued that there is more emotion - certainly there is a heat and hunger - in the look he gives to Emily when she speaks, than the calm collected one that he shares with Elsie.

"Understood," Aidan nods obediently to Erik, and turns his attention to Elsie. "It'll take me a day or two, but I'll let you know."

Whatever happened to get close and earn his trust? Aidan really hates it when plans change. Older vampires tend to be so bloody mercurial.

-

Emily's words are taken, though probably not with the same weight as Erik takes his vampires'. She presses her lips together and nods, or rather, lowers her head and takes the figurative step back. A deep breath is taken, a hissed breath in particular when Dr. Watson's death warrant is signed, or rather, when permission is given to kill him should he get in the way. There isn't an outburst, though behind those brown eyes, it can be seen she wants to.. and simply.. can't, instead a soft whimper escapes. Such is the control now..

Not even a tear can be shed.

Emily looks to Aidan and Elspeth to see how they take the order, and she sees nothing.. nothing she can discern. Well, nothing than the hunger that she's learning that may always linger in Aidan's eyes.. when he looks at her.

-

Erik doesn't even glance at Emily as she whimpers. His order is a logical one. If someone gets in the way, they die. If they don't, then it's fine to 'get them on side', as it were. The same applies to Watson. As long as he's safely kept away from anything of too great an import, he can be permitted his brief existence. The moment he starts making too great a nuisance of himself, his brief existence needs to be made all the briefer.

He regards Elspeth for what in vampire terms is a long moment. To Emily, its probably nothing more than the length of a heartbeat. His Child's fascination with Necromancers has always been a danger. She will, he expects, meet her death at the hands of one, one day.

But perhaps not this day.

"Excellent," he says now, actually smiling. He reaches out for the glass he set down when they first entered and enjoys a sip. No, it's not blood, but the taste is sharp and enjoyable. And there will be blood to be had in due course.

A beat. He glances between them. "Is there anything else I should know?"

-

"Not at the moment."

Elspeth folds her hands together in front of her, not moving a muscle. For all intents and purposes she looks every bit the soulless being that she actually is. Devoid of all humanity. Devoid of all emotion.

"The flight will be ready to leave in two nights, Aidan. Take care of your business, and I will see you at the hangar." Beat. "If there was nothing else of importance?"

-

This is where it gets tricky. Technically, Aidan didn't give Sean the journal, that was all Elsie's doing. Also technically, Aidan can play dumb and state he has no idea what was in Seth's personal journal. It wouldn't be a complete act because he did tend to space out for a bit while Sean babbled on about what he found.

For now, Aidan decides he will follow Elsie's lead. For now, so long as it's not his arse in the fire.

"No, not at all." Aidan doesn't go to Elsie's lengths of unaffected emotionlessness. His standard unaffected distraction is enough to convey the same; seeing how he's not shown anything other than that persona since entering the office - aside from those moments when the shifter attracts his attention - it's not like he's reacting at all.

He nods to Elsie, "Just ring me with the time."

-

It's Emily's turn to chime in, and with a soft voice, speaks up. She sounds.. subdued, quiet.. and there isn't anything she can do in regards to warnings.

"They are investigating.. a shadow. Mr. Mesner and one of our ME assistants, Wade, saw it in Hyde Park. It was enough that Mr. Mesner had his weapon out to investigate. Now, they're trying to figure out what it could be. Wade, according to Mr. Mesner, was put out about Mr. Mesner not having any magical ability at all." She smiles, the expression a little wistfull, "Dr. Watson may not have the time to run, though if he does hear anything, he will drop everything and go.. leaving a text message after he lands." He's done that before, and she's heard the arguments all through the corridors of The Department. Wasn't it only a few months ago that Dr. Watson had gone to Egypt, with Mr. Mesner cracking jokes about zombies chasing him over the sand dunes?

-

Erik watches his Child go 'deadpan'. He's no fool. He understands that means she's either hiding something, pissed off about something, or simply disagrees with him about something. He doesn't, however, have a big need to call her on it at this given moment. Perhaps later, however. "I will suggest to you," he says smoothly — in a voice that suggests that, perhaps, it's more than a simple suggestion, "that arriving in Egypt sooner, rather than later, would be in everyone's best interest. I will call ahead and arrange for someone to meet you, so that you will have the cooperation of the local Enclave."

He straightens now. "However, before you go, the last thing I require is a fully detailed report on just what Watson's investigation has turned up — to the best of your knowledge." He does understand that neither of them will necessarily know everything about Watson's investigation. But, he does want know as much as he can.

His head turns, however, as Emily adds what she knows. "An ME," he echoes a brow arching now. "Tell me, my dear, would this be the gentleman that was with you at the scene of that terrible accident earlier this spring?"

-

Technically Elspeth thought the game was to make 'nice' with Watson. Technically making 'nice' with Watson involves giving him a little of what he wants. Technically the order came after she delivered the journal. Which means she's now got to spend the night planning a flawless heist to get the journal back, and knowing Sean, that will mean having someone actually attack his person to steal the effects he carries with him.

That is why Elspeth is as still as marble — she's thinking about the best way to do it without drawing any attention to it.

"Of course. Tomorrow evening then." Beat. "Aidan can follow the next evening once I have made contact with the local Enclave."

-

Aidan suspects that he knows what Elsie is thinking, and also knows that there are easier ways to go about such things. Maybe he'll suggest them … later.

Attention once again shifts to Emily as Erik addresses her, and this time, the look Aidan gives her is a bit more … appraising. Erik has himself quite a useful little pet there, and Aidan has to admire and respect the man for that … acquisition.

There is a slight upward turn of Aidan's mouth as he watches Emily, a suggestive brightening of the eyes before it's dampened down completely. Bloody hell, but if he isn't going to end up going hunting tonight …

He will wait until Erik is done with speaking to his little pet before updating him on Sean's progress.

-

That sonorous voice, now directed at her, swims around her, enveloping her. There is no question that she'll respond, and to the best of her ability— whether she wants to or not.

Emily cants her head at the question, but soon it begins to bob in a nod with a follow-up, "Yes, it was. We keep people like that on payroll so if anything comes in that may be questionable, we can doctor the documents and take custody.. or bury it.. or them."

Erik only asked the simple question, and once she begins, she simply can't stop..

"He believes himself something of a magician, I think. He sees.. energy.." This part, she's a little touchy on. The pair have never really sat down over a cup of tea and scones to discuss what it is he can and can't do. "Which is probably why he was a bit puzzled about Mr. Mesner not having anything."

-

"No." Erik regards Elspeth and Aidan directly. "You will go together. I am not interested in wasting either of your lives needlessly." He looks to Aidan. "Aidan will simply have to rearrange his schedule to accommodate an earlier flight."

As Emily begins to speak, however, he leans back again. His expression brightens noticeably. Indeed, it gets that 'oh, isn't this a delightful turn of events' look to it. "I see," he purrs in a voice that will no doubt send shivers down the shifter's spine. He's pleased with her. For the moment, anyway. "Well, then, my dear. I have a task for you, as well." He turns to her, now, and smiles warmly at her. "Get to know this young man better. Find out all you can about him and from him about what he knows, what he suspects, what he can do… and not. Let us see just how useful you… and he… can be."

-

"As you wish."

Elspeth nods her head in deference to Erik's decision, then turns to Aidan. "Please rearrange your schedule. The sooner we retrieve the… effects… the better." In all honesty, she's not worried about Sean finding the material. She's worried about something else entirely.

"By your leave, grĂ dhach athair?"

-

Aidan nods agreeably. "Certainly." Whatever else is going to do? Say 'no'? Besides, this is the reason that he has Kim and she has an army of people at her side to manage the business and day to day operations. It would hardly be profitable or useful if he had to be there all the time.

Now that it seems Erik is done with the shifter, having giving her an assignment as well, Aidan allows himself a last lingering - and by that it is only a second, maybe two - before giving his full attention to the eldest vampire in the room.

The update on Sean's progress, as Aidan knows it, doesn't take long. The necromancer truly has not made any great inroads, though Aidan allows him to pull out a few more answers to a few more questions every time they talk. Sean's at an impasse … unless he gets more intel.

Once done, Aidan gives a polite inclination of his head to Erik, and waits for a dismissal.

-

Emily sees the look, and by all rights, it should send her screaming off into the night.

It doesn't.

Instead, the soft, melodic sound that rumbles from the ancient vampire is something that enwraps her, warming her… shutting down all those internal klaxons that should be heard for miles. She begins with a nod as she silently takes in her marching orders. Get to know Wade better.. and find out all she can about him and his abilities. Shouldn't be too hard. He's nice and seemingly appreciative to attention. Perhaps he's just as happy to discuss his ideas and theories as Dr. Watson is? If so, it makes it all the easier.

Emily is pretty sure the information will be forthcoming— without having to sleep with him.

"I'll do what I can."

-

Erik listens with interest to what Aidan has to say. He dismisses no one until the report is complete and he has asked what questions he deems necessary. It's only once he's satisfied that he rises and drains the last of his brandy, setting the glass aside for a servant to collect later. "Good enough," he decides in response to all.

Finally, he nods. "Thank you, all. Go. Attend to your tasks. We will speak again when you have returned."

So, there's the dismissal.

Now, he can go find some dinner.

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