The V&M building was much like the rest of the buildings in New York. We didn’t stop at a reception desk as we went up to the top floor. The woman at the front desk gave me a little wave and I promised to bring Stacey a few left overs the next time I was around. She liked me for my food. That was all – she was happily married with three kids, one of which was about to go off to college – Harvard I understood.
We rode the elevator and while it was fully enclosed I felt the need to clamp my eyes closed. Ryan put his hand on my shoulder in his friendly way of comforting me. He didn’t assume I wanted the hug, or the holding that I would have done with Alex, but he knew I needed more than just a friend at the time.
My anger had subsided to a dull roar and I was going in will a mostly clear head. But it wouldn’t take much to throw me back into fury mode.
I took long deep even breathes and when the elevator dinged our floor and we got off the death trap Ryan laughed, “You are fairly well adjusted to that.”
“Elevators my whole life.”
“The yoga helps too. I think you need to start doing more of it and less beatings.”
I sighed, “Maybe now that Alex is here I can.”
“He needs more beatings.”
I laughed as we walked up to the reception desk. The woman there I didn’t know, I didn’t usually come when someone was at the front desk. She looked up from her tappity tapping on the keyboard with her long ass nails that could only mean she was hunting and pecking and not really typing at all.
“Can I help you?”
“I’m here to see Marshall.”
Her eyes grew wide at the informal way I had called her boss. Marshal and Desmond were so called ‘friends’. We had an early breakfast one day out of the week. It’d been a while since I’d actually handled my appointments well. I’d have to fix that. “Mr. Mitchell is not currently available.”
“Tell him Nox Sétanta is here and needs to see him immediately.”
She glared at me, “Look, sir. Mr. Sétanta, Mr. Mitchell is not taking visitors.”
“We’ll see about that.” I walked away from her and into Marshall’s office. The doors swung easily and Marshall sat at his desk looking out the window. “Marshall.” I managed to get out before his receptionist barged in behind me.
“I tried to stop him.” She said apologetically. “He just burled past me sir. I’m so sorry.” She tried to push me out the door the way we’d come.
“It’s okay Honey, Nox and Mr. Eliot can stay.”
She glared at me then gave Ryan a sweet smile and he just shrugged.
“I didn’t expect you so soon.” Marshall said.
“So you were expecting me.”
He sighed and turned the chair around to face us. “Evangeline told me you’d come eventually. Didn’t say why. Desmond assured me it would be taken care of before you gave us trouble.”
“I’m not here to give you or the CCB trouble. I just want Evangeline.”
“Why, might I ask?”
“She gave my kids to the bad guys. Helped kidnap them while we went hunting the New World Order.”
“Did you find them?”
“Nathaniel is dead. I killed him myself.”
“So that’s how he’s here. Your pet telepath ferreted out the location. I can’t imagine Nate told you anything.”
“He didn’t. Give me Evangeline.”
“Or what Nox?”
I smiled. “You remember that incident with the lions a few years back?”
Marshall paled. “You said we were good.”
“I said I’d stay quiet as long as you didn’t cause me anymore problems.”
He growled. “She’s on the B3, room 85.”
I turned and left, Ryan thanked Marshall, “Thanks for your cooperation. Mors Praetor will remember it.”
Marshall muttered curses under his breath at the vampire title Ryan gave me. Which could only mean that Marshal was afraid of me, and not the Venatori. I could live with that.
We took the elevator again, this time Ryan’s comforting had was conveniently absent. “Are you purposefully letting me fester?”
Ryan smirked. “Would I do that?”
The rest of the way down I tried to calm myself, but the lower we went the more anger I felt. This was a vampire who we’d let into our sanctuary for safety and she’d taken advantage of it and took my family. It wasn’t just my kids it was everyone I cared about including Ryan and his former mistress. It showed me that the New World Order wasn’t going to be playing games. Except the kidnapping had been a game. But why had they taken them and not hidden their people amongst the survivors. I frowned. “Did we do a check for traitors after we knew we had them?”
Ryan sighed, “I don’t know. But I’ll text Allison to get back ground checks and we’ll do a telepath sweep once numero uno telepath gets back.”
“If he’s coming back.”
Ryan put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed, “He’ll come back. Nox, he has no choice. Every twenty-five years Cari and Tony had to see each other for a few months or the pain became so strong they couldn’t function. It’s like the more you stretch it, the longer it takes. He’ll be back if for nothing else that.”
I frowned, “I don’t want that Ryan. I don’t want him to have to come back so I don’t hurt him.” The tears fell just as we hit B3. Ryan stopped the elevator and the annoying alarm sounded.
“Then don’t let him Nox. Don’t let this fight be the one that throws him to the wind.”
I sighed and hit the button to open the doors and they flung open and we stepped off. We had a monster to kill. I knew I looked like shit. I hoped it scared her.