Utilizing Resources

by Serafine Roche
28 Jul 2012 14:12 (updated 28 Jul 2012 14:14) | 0 comment(s)

The moment I get home, I kick off my shoes, toss my coat on the coat rack and head right to my office. In the multi-device charger on my desk there's a cell phone. Nothing fancy, just a little flip phone that mostly takes up space. One of those pay as you go devices, no contract, but I keep it charged on the off chance that I may just have to use it.

I debate for a full ten minutes before I finally make the call. Bryn is going to be stopping by, and though I've told Kieran it's not necessary, I know that doesn't mean that he won't drop by. Not because he knows Bryn is coming and wants to be a thorn in my side, but because I know this is an irritant to him and he'll want to brainstorm and toss theories around with me.

Kieran wouldn't be happy if he knew that I had this number. Hell, Bryn might not even be happy if he knew this method of contact was at my fingertips. But a girl needs her secrets and having this contact at my fingertips has given me peace of mind over the years.

It rings on the other end several times. It could be ringing halfway around the world and in the wee hours of the morning. Not that I care. Or it could be ringing in my figurative backyard. I have no way of knowing.
I'm ready to hang up when the phone finally picks up.

The voice on the other end is low, lazy. Not tired lazy, but the sort of relaxed sort of lazy that comes from over indulgence. The background is filled with the sounds of music and laughter and other sounds that are far more carnal and intimate in nature.

" 'Ello?" Curiosity tinges the greeting.

"It's me." I don't identify myself beyond that. There's no need. "Where are you?"

"Hold the line just a wee bit there." Movement, shuffling, more laughter and a soft pouting voice in the background that makes me cringe. The words are muffled, but vampire hearing, I can make them all out. "It's just a business call little luv, I'll be back. Keep the party going."

I wait, pacing the length of the office, listening as the 'party' recedes further into the background on the other line. I hear what sounds like a door clicking shut, and a different sort of music overlays the raucous party music in the distant background.

"A wee bit of privacy, luv. Is that your way of saying you miss me?"

I roll my eyes. It can't be seen through the phone but I'm sure it comes through in my voice. "That's my way of asking where you are. Currently. Location wise." I'm not explaining myself. I just want an answer.

"Calling on behalf of my dear elder brother?"

"James cut the crap. Are you Stateside or not?"

James chuckles softly and I want to reach through the phone and smack the smarmy grin off his face. Oh, I can't see him, but I know James. I know exactly how he will smile as he laughs and probably lounges with his feet propped up on some expensive bit of furniture. "No, my lovely Serafine, I am not Stateside. Though if you miss me that - "

"Is she?"

"No." Beat. "Now, you must answer a question for me: why are you asking?"

"You didn't tell me where you were."

"Touche, luv." James is quiet for a full minute. I wait him out. I know this game and I'm not going to repeat my question. "Gwendolyn and I are enjoying the spoils of England in all its finery. You should fly over and join us. Bring Kieran. We could all have such fun."

I blink and then I snort. "Like that would happen."

"We could pretend that it's Chicago, and that everything fun is illicit."

"How do I know you're in England?"

James exhales a much unneeded breath through the phone. "A better question would be, why are you so very concerned?"

"Because I don't trust you and it's been a while since I checked up on you," I point out. I will be asking Bryn to verify James and Gwendolyn's location, because I don't trust the vampire on the other end of the telephone.

"I could very well be in your backyard and be a very good liar."

"You could yes," I admit, "But you're too much of an egotist." If James snuck into the City, he'd want Kieran to find out about it. That's just the way he is. I tug my fingers through my hair, my mind flashing back to the alley behind Flanaghan's. It brings me to the second, and real reason for this call.
"I need to get in touch with Gideon."

James is silent for so long that if I were human, I would start to think that I lost the call. However, I can still hear the muffled sounds of the distant party, can hear the moment that James wets his lips and blinks. "That's the real reason for your call isn't it, Lovely?"

Beat.

"Has my brother gone and gotten in over his head?"

"Your brother is the Master of the City's Sheriff. He's highly ranked and highly respected. You don't need to worry about whether or not he's in over his head." I lean against the edge of my desk, staring across the office at a little framed picture of the Eiffel Tower. Funny that should be in my line of sight. It was the last place I had contact with the man I'm seeking.

"Then why the interest in Gideon? You know he's not an easy bloke to find. I hardly have him on speed dial."

I give a half-amused, half-bitter laugh. No, Gideon is not an easy 'bloke' to find. He's like a shadow or a mystery, an enigma to those who've met him. I can't even say those who've gotten to know him, because you don't get to know Gideon. You meet Gideon. You work with Gideon, usually in the form of a deal, and you breathe a sigh of relief that he's on your side and loose the breath you're holding when he leaves town again.

It's no wonder that James is curious about my interest. It's not typical to seek out Gideon lightly. If at all.

Then again, half-hybrid vampire/non-vampires aren't typical. Nor is the ability to easily shake off a glamour. It's not that I don't trust Bryn. He's good at what he does, from what I've seen and heard. However, if I happen to have a resource that hasn't been tapped, I'm going to tap it.

"I don't expect that you do, Seamus." It's a power play. Seamus is his birth name, his Christian name and he doesn't use it any more than Kieran does CiarĂ¡n. "You have contacts, though. You know what doors to start knocking on and what rocks to turn over. "

"What's in it for me?"

I roll my eyes. I can hear the leer and lewd suggestiveness in his voice. "I still have it." Beat. "I won it fair and square in card game - "

"You took it off my finger while I was passed out after shagging me senseless!"

Yes, well, that's a little detail I try really hard not to remember. "Only because I won it and you didn't give it to me."

"It's my bloody family crest, Serafine!"

"And you shouldn't have wagered it away on a bottle of absinthe and a night with your brother's Child." James' appetites are his weakness and that was no exception. I didn't want the damn ring, though, Kieran did. Some point of contention between them rooted in the days before Kieran met me, but turning the tables on James was fun.

I know there's more to it than that, but I've never pried.

Maybe it's time I did, but that's a consideration for another time.

"Do we have a deal?"

I can hear James huff on the other end of the telephone. "A'right. Yes. We have a bloody deal. I'll be in touch when I find Gideon. I really hope it's worth it, luv."

Me too.

I don't say that to James. Instead, I simply smile sweetly and let it carry across the miles of air space. "It will be."

Then I hang up.

Now, I just have to wait.


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