Hunting in the City – The Archives

Walker laughed as we walked out. “Why agree to meet with her?”

“Why not?”

Walker shrugged, “She’s not hot. I thought you could do better?”
“Better than what?” I asked. “She was in the top of her class. She’s an empath, that’s not a bad gift to have. And she’s full Venatori. Her family is related to the ruling houses through marriage. Her mother was a Haskins. But she’s got great green eyes, I’m sucker for eyes.”

“If you didn’t notice she’s rather large.” Walker smirked.

I groaned. “Really? She can’t be a good lay because she’s got more meat on her? You ain’t had enough sex Walker.”

He stuttered. “I. I. You don’t know anything about me. I’ve had plenty of sex. I’ve never had any complaints.”

“I’m sure you haven’t. A fine body like that has to have moves. But I’ve seen guys like you fail horrifically in bed.”

“Don’t get any ideas. I don’t roll that way.”  Walker sneered.

I laughed. “Most guys don’t. I would never hit on you unless I was one, out trying to pick up a guy, or two, you would seem to welcome my advanced.”

“You could tell I’m not gay?”

“What are your vibes about me?” I asked.

“I don’t know. You wear make up, but you don’t dress like a gay guy.”

“But I’m gay?”

“I guess. Though you said yes to a girl so I don’t know. I’m confused.”

I grinned, “Glad to confuse you. But honestly, I don’t really like the big macho men.” I smiled. “No offense.”

“You like the nerds?” Walker laughed.

I shook my head, “No, not the nerds per se. They don’t have to be brainiacs.”
In our chatting we managed the stairs down to the Archives and Walker hadn’t mentioned my avoidance of the elevator. Either he hadn’t noticed, or he didn’t care and would rather talk about the people I liked. Either way we were at the Archives door and Walker looked at it with concern. “We could have been here a few minutes ago. You manipulated me.”

I grinned as I pushed the wide double doors open. “It’s amazing what a distraction can do.”

The Archives were huge compared to the smaller library in the Academy. It had amazed me the first time I had walked into it with Dorian so many years ago. The front desk was in the middle of a two story circular room filled with shelves from floor to ceiling. I knew each of those books housed the continuous history of every Venatori and supernatural creature we had on record. The woman at the front desk knew what was in every single one of those volumes.

I leaned on the desk and smiled at the green eyed woman behind the counter. She had black hair that was graying. I knew her through her son, and you could clearly see the features Dorian had inherited from his mother. “I do not know why you married a face like Mr. Vega.”

The woman turned with a huge grin. “Probably, because you were too young.”
“I’ve been told I look like my father.” I said politely trying not to sound bitter about it.

“You do, darling. You may have your father’s eye color but your eyes are that of your mother. I see none of Kai in them.” Her eyes were sad. She knew my parentage, the way I grew up. Knew how I felt about my parents. She turned her attentions to the man behind me. “Walker, how is your mother these days?”

“She’s doing fine ma’am. Thank you for asking.” Walker smiled at Mrs. Vega and offered his hand.

“What can I do for you boys?” Mrs. Vega asked. “I rarely see the young ones, besides Nox that is,  come in here.”

“Your knowledge is invaluable, Mrs. Vega. This is your life’s work. Why wouldn’t I come get the answers from the one person who would know them? The computers are all well and good, but they don’t work as well as the Venatori memory in that pretty little head of yours. Dorian got his memory honest.”

Mrs. Vega shook her head, “What are you looking for today?”

“The Last Phoenix, they’ve been in the City for some time. The vampires are keeping tabs on them and I think the wolves too. When dragons come to town, the others know. I need…” Walker cleared his throat. “We need to find out where they might hang out. We think one of their numbers is pulling off bank robberies or they are helping someone else do them. Either way their symbol is on a jacket of one of the robbers. But I don’t think he’s a dragon. He has no shadows.”
“Shadows?” Walker asked.

“Nox, is not your ordinary run of the mill Magnus.” Mrs. Vega smiled.

“I know he’s Cesari.”  Walker declared proud of his knowledge.

“He’s more than that. What’s your gift, young Walker?” Mrs. Vega asked.

“I have infrared vision. It’s really annoying at times when I can’t figure out how to turn it off.”

“That could come in handy.” I interjected as I made note.
Walker asked with interest, “What’s yours?”

“I see patterns.” I shrugged. “The way things fall, the surrounding patterns that make up every object. Dragon’s have a shadow of their dragon form around them. I can see it, even in images. It’s pretty amazing that it comes through when Magnus ability doesn’t.”

Mrs. Vega slipped around the corner of the front desk and started towards the towering shelves. “I think I remember Hanley use to own a bar, the Last Phoenix use to use as a front. Hanley’s been dead going on 20 years now, but his son still runs the place.” She muttered to herself. “Ugly Deer Tavern.”

She climbed up the ladder attached to the wall and stepped up a few rungs and reached a book that had the same insignia on it. Mrs. Vega flipped through a few pages. “The Ugly Dog Saloon. ”  She said tapping it in the book where she found it’s listing.  “It’s on First Avenue between 8th and 9th. Or it was. But Derek seems to keep it up and running so I assume it’s still in the same place. He’s never filed a change of address.”

“Does Derek have a last name?”  I asked

“Montrey.”

“Thank you Mrs. Vega.” I said as she reached the ground. I appreciate it.

“You are welcome as always, Nox. Walker it’s a pleasure seeing you again, wish your mother my best when you see her. You boys take care.” And she was back to the front desk before we could even respond.

“It looks like we are going drinking tonight!” I said with a smile.

Walker just grinned back at me.

The Last Phoenix (in order)

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