5 minutes

I sat down in the large leather chair away from anyone else and also so no one could sit down next to me. Roseya’s smile slipped a little, she was going to have to play a different game. Abraham looked at me and nodded, “Mr. Sétanta.”

I interrupted, “It’s Nox.”

“Informal for business.”

“Perhaps, but it’s Nox.” I said bluntly.

With a nod Abraham continued, “Ms. Snow sent you to me to discuss the terms of our agreement and for you to kill me if I didn’t see things her way?”

“Basically. She couldn’t get one of the Venatori here to do it or it would break your pact, so she sent an expendable Venatori with something she could hold over me.”

“James Hutton.” Roseya added and I nodded.

“Protection? She wouldn’t kill a human. Specially one as infamous as Kitsune.” Abraham said.

There was that name again. Scarlet had dropped it as well. All in reference to my so-called boyfriend, benefactor. I really didn’t know what they thought James Hutton was to me. They probably didn’t even know the truth of the matter. And here I am thinking it, I sighed. “I don’t know this Kitsune.”

Abraham laughed. “Neither did I until someone came knocking on my door talking about how things should be. He identified your friend immediately. Apparently he’s in some book, much like you are Mors Praetor. A book your friend is looking to steal from it’s rightful owner.”

I smirked, “You know that Del Figlio is looking for that right, this book you speak of, he’s here in Vegas.”

The vampire paled but quickly regained his footing. “The son of Il Cane doesn’t frighten me. Not when I have Mors Praetor to protect me from any ill conceived notion the Prince of New York thinks he has over me. The book belongs to the First vampires.”

“Of which Il Cane is protecting the book for. Your thief stole it from her child and Del Figlio is coming to get it back. I wouldn’t interfere in vampire business.”

“You are here.” Abraham sneered.

“I’m only here because you want to make vampires public. And with that book you’d have more than enough leverage to get all vampires to follow your lead. So no, I’m not here on vampire business, I’m here on order of the Clandestine Providence.”

“Vampires are stronger, we should not be in hiding.” The prince stamped his foot and stood up. He started the motion to lunge in my direction before his Chevalier put her hand on his wrist and he looked at her. There was an intimate exchange, one I’d seen on many occasions between Ryan and Cari. Chevalier were more than eyes and ears – they were equals in their own rights. Chevalier calmed the angry beast, they could also unleash hell if they so desired. Such was the weight of a Chevalier bond.

Abraham returned his gaze to me, this time less angry. “You aren’t afraid to be in the room with an angry vampire?”

I chuckled, “I’ve had the wrath of Il Cane bearing down on me. You think you compare?”

Abraham laughed, “I suppose that Il Cane had good reason to be angry with you?”

I shook my head. “No, I interrupted a moment with her and her lover at the time.”

The vampire’s anger evaporated as he fell into the couch laughing, “Why did you do that?” He choked out between laughs.

“I had a baby vampire that claimed her allegiance and Ant wasn’t anywhere he could take the fledgling in. I had no choice but to interrupt. But it was Ryan who suggested I go to her room. I should have known better, but I trusted the man.”

Roseya’s expression had gone white with the mention of Del Figlio’s name, probably more to the fact that I had shortened it to a familiar name, and also Il Cane’s Chevalier’s name. Abraham was shaking his head. “You really do know these people. Not some story that we tell our children. Il Cane is truly afraid of you.” He shrank back in the chair and looked at me.

I shrugged. “I don’t know why Cari’s afraid of me. She scares the fuck out of me.”

Abraham laughed again. “Out of all of us.” His laugh faded and he was somber again. “So Mors Praetor, what can I do to save my life from you.”

“I don’t know give me the book, tell me who’s trying to talk you into revolting, and we’ll call it even.”

Abraham laughed, “You think it’s that easy? So confident aren’t you boy?”

I shrugged again. “It can be that easy.”

“First, I don’t have the book. The prat of a thief still has it. And I can’t give you the name, for all the fear I have of Il Cane, or Del Figlio, even you, I fear him more.”

“And you won’t even tell me who you are afraid of?”

Abraham shook his head. “Not on my life.” He said “So we are at an impasse.”

“Not an impasse, Abraham. Let’s call it a pause.” I stood up with a smile and flourished a bow for the Prince of Las Vegas. “I’ll be back. Next time offer a man some coffee.”

I walked out of the seating area and to the elevator before Abraham looked back and called out, “Nox, there is a coffee waiting for you down at the bar. My apologies on being a horrible host.”

I turned around as the elevator doors opened and i stepped through and put my hand to block the door from closing, “Not horrible, just inconsiderate to ones caffeine intake.” I moved my hand and the doors slowly closed and I sank against the steel walls and breathed a sigh of relief before the enclosed and downward motion spiked my heart rate again.

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