I didn’t pay very good attention when I came up to Nox’s room, or everything just looked the same. It was probably the latter. The walls were straight white with glowing runes on them. Each one was slightly different but they were all this light electric blue, if I didn’t think I’d get caught I would have touched one of the other doors. But I kept my hands to myself. I wasn’t here to get in trouble. I was walking around the hornet’s nest and I was escaping free and clear.
I found the elevator eventually, it had taken me longer to find it than it had to have Nox lead me to his room. I think I went in circles a few times.
I didn’t think about anything as I rode the elevator down. I wanted to push him from my head. His words, his friends – his fucking vampire friends. What I didn’t get is how he gave in so easily. He had started to protest but then he caved. I was liking this less and less. I knew he had certain preferences, but I was beginning to think there was more to it than that.
The elevator hit ground level and I walked out of the building without a second glance at the statue the brown eyed boy made. My little monster – and he had been mine then but I didn’t know who the fuck he was now. I walked out the front doors and when I saw the diner across the street I made a decision. I wasn’t hungry but I hated this feeling. And I wanted to feel happy.
He’d pretty much thrown me out. Twice. He chose his friends over me. His words didn’t say so, he’d told me I could stay. But he was relieved when I told him I was leaving. Fucking relieved. After I had calmed him down. I had information for Poet.
So after I sat down and order a large pile of pancakes topped with ice cream, a strawberry milkshake with fries I dialed Poet’s number. It wasn’t late not even nine yet.
Poet picked up the phone in a chipper mood, “Alex, my favorite telepath. What can I do for you?”
“You can listen while I tell you all about your fucking Venatori pet project.”
“Already?” He sounded surprised.
“He’s an open fucking book. Anyone can do this job. He says what he thinks and hardly ever lies. I think there is an obsessive compulsion with the truth along with 80 billion other things he’s OCD about.”
My food arrived and I took a sip of the milkshake and groaned. I really didn’t think that was a good idea. My stomach was still quite full from dinner and the milkshake was heavy.
“So what can you tell me about Mr. Sétanta. Something I don’t already know.”
Where should I start. “He’s afraid of heights, flying, needles and clowns. And I don’t mean normal people afraid. He’s a complete nut job, Poet. You know he’s friends with a lot of people, but he’s not like any other Venatori. None I know about, anyway, and he thinks very outside the box. I got the vibe from the people in the elevator that he’s an outcast. Someone they want to get rid of.”
“Interesting.” Poet said in response to my rambling.
“I did one up Reaper though. I got access to their network. You’ll get that bill soon as the cash clears into my hackers account. I’ll send the bill with the access.” I hadn’t had time to delve into the information, but I had the Wicked Truth copying everything to a secure file system so I can look at later.
“Alex, my boy. You’ve done great. Tell me though, what are his weaknesses? What can I do to exploit these flaws? How could I use his strengths to benefit me, and others like you. Is he malleable?”
“I just told you everything I learned.”
“So learn more Alex. I want everything.”
I growled. “Do you have any fucking clue what you are asking me to do Poet? He’s a fucking nut job. He’s been seeing a therapist for god knows how long. He had two fucking breakdowns in the time I was with him. You need to pay me more.”
“Alex. I’m already paying you five times, expenses and a favor. That is more than enough compensation for a little hand holding. Don’t you think?”
I growled. “Fine.” Then hung up the phone. I was looking at the plate and I was glad that I hadn’t gotten ice cream on the pancakes. I waited for my waitress to come back. I gave her a smile and she returned it in kind. “Sorry to do this but can I get this all to go.”
“Of course honey. Anything else?”
“No, that’s it.”
She took my plates away and left me alone to my thoughts. Poet wanted more. What the fuck was I going to do?