When I reached the Resort’s upper floor I was greeted with Ant standing next to the front desk counter flirting with a woman. She was supernautural but I couldn’t tell you what flavor of human she was. Paths were difficult. I knew she was a path but that was the extent of it.
Ant smiled at me and the woman spoke to me while still holding Ant’s eyes. “I am Shirley, all of us who work the front desk are strong telepaths. The night shift is manned by some of Valentina’s favorites.”
“So you vet anyone who gets in the elevator before they ever get here.”
She turned her brown eyes from Ant’s and looked at me with a nod. “Yes, sir. If someone shady were to get on the elevator I would raise the silent alarm and security would be waiting on this floor. If the threat were mundane I would call the human police and report an anonymous call.”
“How deep do you dig?” I asked.
She looked down and frowned. “Much farther than I suspect you would like.”
“So not just their current top thoughts?”
“It’s a safe…” Ant started to interrupt but I looked at him and he cut off his words.
“Is it damaging?” I asked returning my gaze to hers.
“Did you feel me proding your shield?”
I had to think about it. I hadn’t. But I had been dealing with my own anxiety about the elevator that I hadn’t been paying attention. I shook my head, “But I was preoccupied.”
Shirley nodded. “Your fear is highly irrational. You know it’s safe, yet your afraid none-the-less.”
“Did you get past my shields?” I asked.
She shook her head. “Once I realized who it was I stopped, sir. I mean, Nox.”
I had one final question, “What do you do with the private thought you learn while digging?”
“You mean company secrets, things like that?” She asked and I nodded my ascent. “Nothing. Il Cane vets each of us personally. Mr. Giovanni, the senior, vets us after she has approved us. And Ant does the final vetting now that the Night Life building is under his control.”
“Wait, when did that happen?” I asked.
Ant smirked at me. “You may own the top floor Nox. But the building is mine. A gift from mother a decade ago. The Resort as we call it now, was only a prison. All safe houses were small and defensible around the city in Harlem. And then I met a boy and our influx of young vampires who needed help grew. And the pack leader of New York came to me and said the Infirmary was a bad place to keep hostile weres. And thus I expanded.”
I laughed. “All because you met a boy? Were you trying to impress him?” I asked knowing fully well Ant was talking about me.
He shook his head and laughed. “No. I was taking his example and expanding upon it. If he was going to bring me vampires to deal with I had to have a better place than a deep dark cell to keep them in while we taught them how to feed and blend in with society.”
“And now?” I asked.
Ant smiled. “And now I have the pleasure of working along side him and watching that vision turn into the way our world works.”
“It’ll never be the way the world works. Even humans don’t manage that.” I said.
Ant laughed. “But we aren’t human. We are supernatural. We are higher and better and we protect their innocence. That is how the world works and it always will.”