Amid The Shadows Ch. 07byAnnaDreamer©
'Who is she Paul?' Karl dropped the 8x10 photo in Paul's lap and paced back around the desk.
Paul inspected the photo, his brow was low indicating hard thought.
'Paul?' George enquired.
Paul looked up as his fingers traced the photo absently. 'She's just a girl I met at a bar, nothing special.'
'Her eyes?' Karl encouraged.
'I never noticed it before. She....' He stopped suddenly and swallowed hard.
'Come on Paul.' Karl growled, 'Spit it out.'
'She came to me, said she was fresh out of the academy of magic and needed help.'
'With?' George rubbed his forehead.
'Finding a position.'
'Did she find a position Paul?' Karl prompted. As the question floated through the air, Paul broke eye contact and turned a lovely shade of crimson as he blushed.
'Jesus Paul!' George exclaimed as he stood and started to pace.
'What?' Paul questioned in disbelief, 'so I screwed her a few times, led her on a little.'
Karl snatched the photo, it crumpled in his hand as he shook. Through gritted teeth he spoke, barely controlling his voice.
'We've ran every back ground check we have at out disposal in the last two hours, in which time you primped and pruned yourself in the bathroom before you joined us, over a hundred other super naturals have seen this photo. Everyone! from the government agents to my own Intel and security teams. She draws a blank. An actual black hole. Nothing. Narder. Zip. So if you could actual take you brain out of your pants and try to remember anything. That would be appreciated.'
George's hand settled on Paul's shoulder. 'Please son' George made eye contact, 'She could be a link.'
Paul nodded, he stood sharply, snatching a pen and paper from the oak desk scattered with papers. He wrote something frantically then handed it to his father.
'We used to met here.' Paul handed over the note.
George took the paper with a nod. He scanned the contents thoughtfully, before patting Paul's shoulder.
'I'll pass this on to the team.' George softly as he opened the office door and exited. Karl eye balled the young man before him, barely aware of his friend's departure.
'You can stop it with the intimidating looks Karl. We all know I'm not you favourite person. Hell, I don't think I'd even make a top ten. It should have been me taken, at least you precious Alex would be safe huh?'
Before he could blink, Karl was up in his face, grabbing his shirt in one rough hand, lifting him easily of his feet.
'Listen to me, you waste of breath, I've cleaned up your mess before. Do not misunderstand my emotions now. I tolerate you because your father is my dearest friend and I love you sister. But don't ever, and I mean ever try to use those emotions against me son.'
He released Paul quickly, so much so he stumbled and grabbed on to one of the high back chairs from balance.
'So now all of a sudden this is my fault? I mean precious, fantastic, wonderful Alexis never does anything wrong.' The comment dripped with sarcasm.
Silence descended between them for a moment as Karl calmly collected the maps and papers decorating the desk. He took a breath and looked up.
'All your life you have tried, no, continue to try to get your father's attention. It doesn't matter that he treated you and Alex the same, you had to out do and embarrass her every opportunity.'
Karl took his jacket from the desk chair and slipped it on.
'Bullshit.' Paul scoffed.
'Is it? Even when her powers blossomed and her control out grew your own, you still persisted in this game of tit for tat. Did it ever occur to you that you never needed to compete in such a childish way. That your father favoured you enough to name you heir?'
'Yeah, Yeah and Alexis his concealer.'
'Did you want the job?'
'So why such games? All the times Alexis tried in the past to get you to communicate telepathically, you refused, just in case she saw in side your head. To see the evil intent rooted there. You continue to let her believe you're her loving brother. That's bullshit.'
'You're crazy, I love my sister.' Paul answered defensively.
'As much as you hate her? I often wonder, if you father had spent as much time training Alexis as he did training you to take over...'
'What? What are you getting at?'
'That if Alexis had had trained as a concealer I would feel more comfortable in her being retrieved intact.'
'You're waffling wolf. Lusting after my sister like a dog.' Paul commented heading for the door.
'I left you a little something on your bed.'
Paul frowned as he slammed the door behind him, taking the stairs two at a time. As he entered the bedroom, the light net curtains of the patio windows carried a cool breeze over his face. As he inched forward waiting for some bobby trap. He noticed the A4 folder perched on his bed end. He gently touched the letter, wording clearly embossed on the cover. It said one word. Alistair.
Alistair was impatient. He'd paced, he'd fed, he'd even had Diana provide him with some entertainment and still he felt anxious. He sat against the head board of the four poster bed, his mind showing him her face, her body. The sight and smell of her blood. Made him think of Marianne.
Diana placed a glove clad hand on his bare chest, drawing circles with one finger. He hated her hands, hated looking at her imperfections. After sex she always resorted back to her true form. But then again she could become anyone. She'd done just that and for the last few hours Alistair had been having a little fun with his Alexis clone.
'What are you thinking about?' Diana asked seductively.
'None of your business.' Alistair rose from the bed swiftly, leaving Diana to fall onto her face into the feather pillows . He snatched a red robe from the closet and drew it on. 'Won't Taran be wondering where you are?'
Diana slide from the bed and stood stiff, turning her back to Alistair. She tugged the gloves from her hands in an awkward way and threw them to the floor. She shimmered her form, scales and scars appearing on her body, flashing in shades of indigo and violet. She knew he hated this, her natural self.
'Diana' His tone was expressed a warning.
She turned to him and smiled, her face contorting and flexing into Alexis. 'I undersssstand.' she stalked forward still minus her clothes. 'You-
'No you don't understand my dear, I enjoyed our little tryst but my patience and the memory grows thin.' He grabbed her arm and lead her at a run to the door. 'Get out before I break your neck.'
'Masssster' Diana protested as Alistair flung her into the dimly lit landing. She turned to use her voice, only to be met by the closing door.
Diana shank to the floor, feeling the wetness on her face, she rubbed her eyes. Humiliation. That was what she felt, rejection and humiliation.
Alexis jiggled the lock on the window, smiling with a small amount of glee as it gave a crack and popped open. She stepped out into the night onto the small patio space linking her room.
Alexis stepped out barefoot onto the cold concrete floor. The dark night stretching out as far as she could see. Trees in the distance dancing against the night creating an eerie sound. She stepped closer to the railing, the bump and simmer of magic touched her arm, creating a goose bump sensation along her skin.
Alexis touched it experimentally with her finger and watched it glow and hum, then bump, stretch and finally relax. It was old magic but odd, different, altered.
'Its one of Alistair's concoctions.'
Alex turned to find Jensen at the window jam. Barefoot in a pair of dark blue jeans and a white shirt. He rubbed ruggedly at his hair with a small towel. Alex couldn't help but notice how different he looked clean, shame grabbed her. As if his being dirty had been his fault, he was a prisoner just like she. Except he knew what Alistair could do. Alexis nodded and turned back to the hum of magic.
'Alex?' Jensen moved silently, placing a warm hand on her cool shoulder.
Alexis stared ahead, watching the tiny plane in the sky flicker lights of red and white. She thought of her father, wondering is he was OK. He'd be worried. In her mind images flickered of the people she cared about the most. Her father was the most predominant. She frowned, frustrated by the fact that she seemed to be caught in something beyond her understanding and a sickening feeling in her stomach told her her father was or had least had been involved with these men...once upon a time. She sniggered at the reference to the fairytale opening, gripping the metal railing with her hands and staring over the edge, her hair lighting brushing against the magical boundary in place. Below, all she saw was black pavement and a sole wrought iron street light. Its light flared and danced with the breeze.
'Alex?' Jensen moved closer closing his hand over hers on the metal.
Jensen watched patiently as she eased back from the railing, for one awful moment he thought she'd try to jump, like he had tried to, so many times before. Strands of her hair blew in the night air and the remains of her dress clung to her figure. His hand itched to touch the independent hairs as they lashed around her face.
As he closed in to do just that, Alexis moved her hand, dislodging his own and pushed her hair back with one elegant movement. She gave him a blank expression that changed into a sad smile. She looked so much like the Marianne he remembered, a woman worn down.
'I'm going to use the shower.' She moved to the door.
'Wait.' Jensen stepped in her path and placed his arm on the door frame. 'I want to apologise for earlier, I...I took advantage of the...situation.'
Alex held up a hand in protest, 'I wanted...you didn't take advantage Mr Crane, I, we just got caught up in the moment. That moment has passed.'
She bent under his arm and entered back into the bedroom, Jensen stalked after her, towel balled in his hand. Mr Crane? Where the hell had that coldness come from, an hour ago she was begging for his attention.
'Just wait a minute.' Jensen began.
'For what?' Alex interrupted, she took a towel from a small stack on a dressing table by the main door. As she quickly observed the contents she noticed one of her favourite fragrances and some items of make up she used. She took a breath as another wave of unsteadiness overtook her. She gripped the table's edge with her free hand and turned to face Jensen.
His cheeks had reddened slightly, maybe the shower's hot water had done it. Alexis briefly met his eyes and started to move to the bathroom door. Jensen's hand banged into the wood just above her head.
'You need to move your hand Mr Crane.'
'You think this is easy for me Alexis? For over a year I've been inside that dungeon and then all of a sudden you appear like some, some...' Jensen drew in a calming breath. 'I don't know how to...BE with people Alex. So this pubescent attack you're having at my rejection of you-'
'Pubescent?' Alexis interrupted. 'Let me make this perfectly clear so even someone seemly as immature as me can understand it.'
'That's not what I meant-'
'No?' Alex searched his face for something before she sighed, 'I'm sorry if my sour mood had affected you Jensen, I really am. I'm sorry for the fact that something that has plagued my dreams all my life tried to attack me in that dinning room. I'm sorry that I'm scared shitless and have no idea how I'm expected to react. This isn't my world and whatever or however this involves my family I don't know. If you think my mood is related to your 'rejection' as you put it, then believe so. I don't know much of you and you certainly don't know me, being attached to you now is...' Alexis looked away, Jensen slowly moved his hand.
'I'm going to take a shower' Alex stepped into the bathroom and softly closed the door.
Jensen stared at the craved door as he heard the lock softly click into place. He gruffed, as if that would stop him, if he wanted.... he stopped his train of thought suddenly of course he wanted her.
This was a mess, damn Alistair and damn Alex, her soft skin, her long hair. Gods. That sad smile on her face, like she was resolved with her captivity. He wouldn't let that happen. Jensen raked a hand through his hair and stared at the main door. Opening his senses, he drew the natural minerals of the wood forward, the door swelled and glowed with power and life. He smirked, his powers where growing, coming back to him fast.
Jensen watched Alex pull the brush through her hair then pull it into a ponytail. She'd dressed casually in a pair of tight jeans and a plain black t shirt. She looked good, she smelled even better. She'd picked up a small glass bottle from the dresser and pointed it at her neck, a light fragranced mist settled against her skin, she then lightly rubbed each wrist at that point. They hadn't spoken since she'd emerged from a misty haze of steam from the shower, fully dressed.
A large knock on the door interrupted Jensen's activity. Taran pushed back the aged wood and stood in the dimly lit landing. He bowed to Alex and then extended his arm. Obviously they where meant to follow.
Jensen stood and waited till Alex moved to the door. As Taran went to grab her arm, Jensen's own arm flew out in an instant. The larger man raised a brow and looked to the Mage fighter.
'Do not touch her.' Jensen spoke calmly, as he removed his hand, he noticed the burnt flesh mark left on the silent man's arm identical to his own fingers. He cursed and grabbed Alex's wrist with his other hand. As she tensed, he slid his fingers into her own and gripped her delicate hand softly. With an encouraging squeeze he led the way down the landing to the main lounge.
*** Alistair watched his Mage enter the room, hand in hand with the pretty concealer. What a difference a shower and clean clothes maketh a man, he pondered. He gripped the phone closer to his ear as the recipient on the other end waffled on and on.
'I'm sure it was quite a shock' Alistair answered, his eyes locking with Jensen.
'I'm afraid there's no backing out now my friend' Alistair chuckled, 'Of course, of course.'
Jensen moved round the room on light feet and settled both himself and Alex on the large sofa near the fire place. Her face looked pale he observed, so he shifted seats and placed her near the heat. On the small coffee table in front of them was a golden platter filled with cheeses and fruits. He pushed it towards Alex and muttered 'Eat' before grabbing a glass of what looked like orange juice and taking a sip. He swilled the liquid around his pallet, no poison. He nodded, before draining half the glass and refilling it for Alex. As she gripped the glass, he heard a quiet 'thank you' which made his lips twitch, holding back a smile.
Alistair, took in a breath as he ended his call. 'Do not worry so. I'll be in touch.' As the rambling on the line continued, Alistair returned the phone to it's holder and scooped a file from the side table.
'Now you've both had time to recover, I thought we'd better get down to business'
Alistair dropped the file onto the table and elegantly sat in the high backed chair across from his captives. He smirked to himself as he remembered feeding from the beauty in this chair as Jensen reached froward and took the file. He opened it slowly and stared at the contents with a frown, lightly sieving through its pages.
Jensen barked a laugh and took a page from many. 'This is what you want Alex to find?' He asked incredulously.
'Yes' Alistair replied.
'You ARE crazy.' Jensen smirked and he passed the sheet to his companion.
Both men watched as she studied the sheet, her eyes going wide in understanding. She straightened her back and cleared her throat before speaking softly.
'If I find this item-'
'Alex-' Jensen interrupted as she raised a hand to continue.
'If I find this item, what does it mean for me?'
Alistair smiled slowly and fully showing fang as he clicked his fingers, Diana appeared with a glass of wine, which he took gingerly and then slowly circle the crystal with his index finger. It sang sweetly as he stared intently at Alex.
'It would mean your freedom' he said innocently as he took a gulp.
This time it was Alex's turn to laugh, 'Not enough.'
Alistair threw the glass at the free place, its smash echoed around the room as the liquid gave a small burst of fire as the alcohol lapped against the existing heat there.
'YOU dare try to negotiate with me?' His voice echoed around the room.
Alex gripped her shaking hands together and met his stare head on. 'Either you want this item or not, I may be young but I know how important my talent is. If you want this item found I have some terms of my own.'
Jensen tensed beside her as she stood up to the vampire, Diana's eyes had widened and she looked panicked, prepared to run if things got nasty. Jensen looked to Alex who still sat straight and determined.
'What makes you think I couldn't find someone else to do this?' Alistair enquired.
Alex scoffed, 'Seems to me you went to an awful lot of trouble to find me, but if you want to find someone else.' She stopped and stood.
Before she took a step, Alistair flashed to the front of her body and took them both flying across the room. He held her firmly to him but not too hard, still her back hit the wall behind them sending a portrait bouncing along the floor.
'Clever girl' Alistair breathed into her neck, her heart rate jumped and beat heavily against her jugular, he watched the motion in fascination. 'So much like your mother' He whispered in her ear.
Jensen shouted and shot across the overturned sofa to where Alex was held against the wall. Her eyes widened and met his as Alistair murmured something into her ear, he then released her slowly. He stepped back, allowing enough room for Jensen to shove him back and grab onto Alex. His hands gripped either side of her face.
'You OK?' He repeated the question over and over until she gave a rough yes in return.
As he put an arm around her shoulder Alistair spoke.
'Ah young love.' he gave a flourished bow and returned to his seat, where a shaky Diana, produced another glass of wine. Taran lifted the item of furniture over turned and returned it to its glory.
'Name your terms my little concealer.' Alistair smirked.
'Firstly, I want my and Jensen Crane's freedom without repercussions, Secondly, I want you to tell me how my family is involved with you' she swept an arm around the room, 'and this'.
'Anything else my little rose?' Alistair asked.
Jensen tensed at the familiar pet name for Alex's mother and moved a loose hair behind her ear.
'Lastly I'd like to know who set me up.'
'Dominic?' Alistair asked with a smirk and raised brow.
Alex grinned and Jensen noticed that the look was not friendly. 'I may have been fooled but I'm not stupid. Dominic is not that capable.'
'Tut Tut is that what you said when you let him into your bed mon cher?'
Jensen growled and started forward as Alex's arm hit his abdominal area. Alistair threw back his head and gave a large laugh.
'If I'd have known our concealer would be your weakness Mage I would have set things into motion a long time ago.'
'I should have killed you a long time ago but I'm a patient man' Jensen responded.
All the humour left Alistair's face and he grabbed the folder from the desk. He drew out a photocopy slowly and held it to the side of his head so all occupants in the room could see the image.
'I agree to all the conditions presented within this room, witnessed by Jensen Crane, Diana and Taran. Bring me the rock my darling girl and I'll answers all your questions. On my honour.'
'Just the stone?' Alex asked slowly.
'Just the stone.' Alistair answered.