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|Lies in the Blood: Inception - Chapter 2|
|Written by RKP Hunt|
The streets bustled with humans who packed themselves on the sidewalks on their way to work. The sounds of cars honked at each other as they tried to get through the busy cross walks. Kailin blocked out most of the noise, as she walked holding her dark coat around her. She wasn’t cold, but felt she should act so, since most of the people were beginning to bundle up. The worst part of walking to work was when people bumped into her. She was much stronger then them, but had to pretend to be knocked off balance. On a morning such as this, with much on her mind, she often forgot. Which caused the unfortunate human that bumped into her to fall to the ground or into another person.
Reaching the office building, she walked in and smiled at Henry, the security guard.
"Hello, Miss Drake." He said, smiling back and giving a quick wave, before he returned to helping the man in front of him.
Walking to the elevators, she put her hands into her pockets and looked up to check which floor the elevator was on. She hated the lobby of the building, it was too crowded, and there were several artificial plants blocking paths. The elevator doors opened, and she stepped in, and pressed the eighth floor button.
Mark, her agent, had inherited the office from his father who had been a lawyer. When his father died, the other lawyers left when he didn’t accept the offer to buy the business from him. It was then he began his career as an agent.
He found two others to help take care of clientèle, and though they didn’t host any huge names, they had a few smaller names on their list of clients. Kailin happened to be one of their larger clients, and she had asked for one of the empty offices.
The elevator stopped and she stepped out heading to the office down the hall to her left. It was at the end of the hallway, and then down a smaller hall. She had to be shown the way the first time that she came to visit Mark.
The door read Halford, Lyman, & Sanchez Agency, Literary, Fine Arts, and Athletic Agents. In smaller print at the bottom of the glass window read Kailin Drake, Historian. She smiled as she looked down at her name, and then opened the door.
The room was a large rectangle with three small offices on each side, at the back near the windows were the fax machine, the copy machine, and many other office supplies. Towards the front door were the chairs for waiting clientèle, she didn’t understand what they were for, she had never seen them in use. Out of the six offices only four were being used, the other two were storage.
Bethany, the secretary, sat behind the large desk and smiled as Kailin walked in. "Good morning, Miss Drake." She said, putting the nail file away.
In the far right office Donald Lyman, athletic agent, stuck his head out of the door and frowned at Bethany. He was a tall man, who she had heard, had been a professional football player for a few years, before an accident. Donald didn’t talk to her, and she felt no need to speak with him. His dark eyes looked up at Kailin and gave a greeting nod, and then back down to his secretary, "Where are my coffee and donuts?"
"The donuts haven’t arrive yet, and I will bring your coffee in a moment, Mister Lyman." She said, and then turned back to Kailin.
"What are my appointments today?" Kailin asked, as Donald pulled his head back into his office.
"You have a ten o’clock with a Mister Kristian Milborough, an author. A lunch with Mister Halford, and a dinner with a..." She frowned, "The name is all smudged. Maybe, Mister Halford will know, it looks like his hand writing."
"No problem." Kailin’s eyes drifted to the first door on the left.
It was Mark Halford’s office, he was sitting at his desk, speaking with a young woman. She looked like the romance writer type to Kailin, and she grinned as the old man rubbed his graying eyebrows. He did that when he was speaking to a client that he didn’t respect, it was either that or he was giving her bad news.
Turning to her left, she went to the middle office that had her name on the door. Stepping in, she was welcomed by several piles of books and her cluttered desk. The office wasn’t big enough to hold more then three people, and even that was a tight squeeze. Sitting down behind her desk, she let out a large sigh. She had to get this mess organized. There was really nothing she could do, besides stack them better.
Searching her desk, she tried to get ready for the Milborough appointment, but couldn’t find a manuscript anywhere, perhaps it was a new client. Turning around, she opened the small fridge behind her. It was stuffed with bottles of water, it was the only thing she asked Bethany to do. Not that Bethany could bring her a meal, but she kept the fridge stocked with water. Kailin didn’t even ask anymore, she knew every morning that whatever water she drank the day before would be replaced.
She took one out and opened the white lid, taking a large gulp, and then trying to locate her coaster that she had been using just yesterday. Digging under folders and piles of papers on her desk, she couldn’t find it. Finally, she found a spare piece of paper and folded it into a fourth then cleared out an area on her desk, placing the container on it.
She didn’t use a computer, even though Mark had offered to purchase one for her. She hand wrote everything and then had Bethany type it up for her, and fax everything. She tried to locate her appointment book, thinking that she had left herself a note about this Milborough, but again she came up empty. Giving a sigh, she leaned back into her chair, crossed her arms.
Mark stood at the door in a dark blue suit with a light blue shirt. He was a rather handsome older man, strong jaw and gray streaks of hair above his ears. She had heard many say he aged well, and she agreed. He was a good man, and she enjoyed his company, had she not liked him, she would have never gotten into this business. He was smiling at her, while she had been searching her desk.
"Lose something?" He finally asked, as she stared at him, trying to figure out what he wanted.
"Who is Milborough?" She asked, when she picked up another folder and looked under it.
"Some kid, he’s got a few non-fiction world war novels out. Apparently he is writing a fictional historical romance, and needs to make sure his settings are correct." He folded his arms and leaned up against the wall.
"Don’t you normally meet with them first?"
He nodded and grinned at the word ‘them’, "He won’t even speak to me, said it’s none of my business. He already has an agent, all he needs is a historian."
She sucked on her inner cheek, and looked out the window and the girl who was crying in his office. Bethany was giving her a Kleenex, and walking her towards the door. "What happened?"
Looking over his shoulder, he looked at the young brunette. "I turned her down. Her writing isn’t mature enough. She uses terms that wouldn’t be used in a romance, more like in a elementary school.."
"What if she changed the terms, would the story be alright then?"
He shook his head, "That’s another problem, there is no story. It was four hundred pages of nothing, there was no plot. Even a romance novel has a plot, this was completely about the characters’ day to day life."
Kailin nodded, "Did you tell her to take some classes at..."
"My job, do your own."
She rose an eyebrow, "Well, excuse me."
"Sorry, Kailin. I told her three days ago that I couldn’t help her, and she shows up at the door this morning in tears. I just can’t help her, it wouldn’t be profitable to either of us."
Again she nodded her head, "Milborough didn’t give you a script or anything, just made an appointment?"
"Yep. If you need me, you know where I am."
"What should I do to get ready for the appointment then?"
"Clean up your office?" He shrugged.
"That reminds me, how would you feel about working out there with Bethany for a couple months?"
"Javier, Donald, and I were thinking that we need a ‘meeting’ room. Cause sometimes our clients bring people, and etcetera. So, we want to tear down these walls, and rebuild this side of the offices to make a board room." He pointed to her wall with his thumb.
"I wouldn’t mind, if my office got bigger and came with built in bookcases."
Mark grinned, "I’ll talk to the guys about it, and let you know."
"Alright, go away, I have work to do." She shooed him away with her hands.
He laughed, shutting the door behind him.
Fifteen ‘til ten rolled around rather quickly, and Kailin had done her best to clear off her desk. However, she found that she had forgotten where she put some of her folders, and was stuck looking for them. Taking a break, she stepped out into the main room to stretch her legs.
Bethany grinned at her, while she wrote something down in Javier’s appointment book. "Not much to do today, huh?" She asked as she continued to write.
Kailin grinned, "Some days I am swamped, other days I wonder why I bothered to come all the way down here."
"Mister Halford said that you turned down that author last night."
"That’s what he said. That you left the table and didn’t come back for an hour, so he thought you were telling him no."
Kailin crossed her arms, "When I came back they were gone, and it hadn’t been an hour." Looking over at Bethany’s desk, she saw a few envelopes with her name on them. "Is this my mail?" She asked walking over, and picking them up.
"Oh, yes, sorry. I couldn’t find your in box under all that clutter, I meant to give it to you when you came in this morning."
"No problem." She bumped it against her thigh, and looked up at the clock. It was ten ‘til. She gave a deep sigh, and then turned her head as Donald walked out of his office with a tall dark man wearing a sports jersey.
"Alright, Wayne. I’ll call around see what I can do for you, advertising wise." Donald said, walking him towards the door. They shook hands, and when Wayne had left the room, Donald flipped around to face Bethany, his smile gone. "Where the hell were those donuts I ordered three hours ago?"
"The delivery guy never came, I’ve called four times, and they said that he’s stuck in traffic."
"Ever think about going out and getting them yourself?" Donald poked himself in the forehead, "No, you didn’t cause you never think..."
"Enough, Donald, she’s got other work to do, besides getting you donuts." Kailin interrupted.
He blinked twice, and then straightened himself out. "I don’t recall asking you, Miss Drake."
"I don’t recall when slave labor was made legal in the United States again. If you want donuts for a big meeting, why don’t you pick them up before you come into work?" Kailin pointed at him with her pile of envelopes.
"Kailin..." Bethany objected, but was shut off by Kailin’s hand.
"We have a secretary so that I don’t have..."
"We have a secretary to fax, take appointments, and make phone calls. Getting you donuts is a favor, not her job."
He snorted, "You don’t belong here anyway, this is an agency, not a library."
Mark voice interrupted, "That’s enough you two. Donald, go back to work."
"Just go." He pointed toward his door, "Kailin, don’t you have a meeting you need to prepare for."
"That’s what I’m doing." She said, as both men slipped back into their offices.
"Thanks, Miss Drake." Bethany said, then turned back to her computer.
It was then Kailin noticed it, the feeling had been there before, but fighting with Donald, she had ignored it. The sense was that of another vampire nearby, a hallowed. She could feel the presence coming towards her. Another fresh made her uncomfortable, and at times, it was even painful.
She could see the outline shadow at the door, as the door slowly began to open reveal the man behind it. He wore a black overcoat, a dark gray suit with a black shirt, sunglasses, and no tie. His platinum blonde hair was combed to the side, and looked as if it had been freshly cut. His face was rather boyish, and he grinned when he looked at Bethany, and then gave one to Kailin.
"Hello, can I help you?" Bethany asked, giving a larger grin.
Halloweds appeared more attractive then they actually were to their human counterparts. It was the reason they were thought of as angels for so long.
Walking up to the desk, he removed his sunglasses, and gave her another grin. "I’m Kristian Milborough, here to see Kailin Drake." He said, placing his briefcase on the edge of her desk.
"I’m Kailin Drake." She said, she was surprised that he didn’t study her more, considering she was another Hallowed.
"In my office." She pointed with her thumb, and walked back towards the door.
Kristian gave Bethany a grin, and then winked at her as he walked to Kailin’s office.
Kailin opened the door, then walked behind her desk, allowing Kristian to shut the door and sit in the hard plastic chair across from her.
Putting the briefcase on his lap, he began to open it.
"What are you doing?"
Kailin frowned as she dropped the window shades, so that Bethany couldn’t see them. "I’m not going to help you."
"Uh, because you are another Hallowed. I can’t work with you, why don’t you go find yourself a nice human historian."
His blue eyes stared at her for a moment, "I didn’t know you were, and I wanted the best for my novel. You are the best."
She looked the young vampire over briefly. "How old are you?"
"Fifty three, and seventy one if you include my human years. Why?"
"And you are making yourself famous by writing novels?"
He grinned, "You made yourself famous by checking facts. I know what I am doing, besides I use a pen name for each individual book."
"Oh come on, Miss Drake. I can fax revised manuscripts to you, and you can send me your notes, if you are so bent out of shape about actually seeing each other."
She glared at him for a moment, "Give me your manuscript, and then leave your fax number with my secretary. I’ll call you and let you know if I am interested or not."
His eyes fell down to his briefcase for a moment, before returning to Kailin. "Fair enough."
"Good, now get out." She said, snatching the manuscript from him as soon as it cleared his briefcase.
Standing up, he scowled down at her, "Very rude, Miss Drake, very rude." He pushed his chair in, and walked out of the office, shutting the door behind him. He wrote down his number for Bethany, then tossed it over at her, causing her to catch it from falling down her shirt. His long black jacket barely made it through the door, as he stormed out in a huff. As soon as he left, Bethany shot out of her chair and ran to Kailin’s office.
Kailin looked up from the manuscript at Bethany, who stuck only her head into her office, giving her a questioning look. "That was a rather dramatic exit, he should think about becoming an actor." Kailin chuckled.
"What happened?" She asked, looking back towards the door, "That was the shortest meeting, I’ve ever seen."
"He’s upset that I want to read his manuscript first before I commit to it."
She glared at her and then grinned, "He is very handsome, I wonder if he is seeing anyone."
"Bethany, I would suggest staying as far away from him as humanly possible."
Her dark eyebrow rose, "Why?"
"You don’t want to get involved with his type." Kailin looked up at the clock, "Well, I don’t have anything else to do. I am going to head home early, tell Mark that he and I can have lunch another time."
"What about your dinner meeting?"
Standing up, Kailin slipped on her jacket, "Find out who it is with, and then give me a call."
Stepping outside, the sidewalks were just as packed as that morning. Kailin had packed herself a briefcase with Kristian’s manuscript, and a few books she thought would come in handy while she was reading it. Sticking her free hand in her pocket, she began her journey back to her apartment, making sure to hunch over as if she were cold.
She could still feel him nearby, and her eyes sorted through the people on the sidewalk, looking for the vampire. Keeping her pride in tact, she tried not to act like she was worried, and kept her normal pace as she walked. Halfway home, when the sidewalk gave in population, she heard her name called out.
"Miss Drake?" Kristian said again, when she turned around. He was wearing his sunglasses, but his briefcase was gone.
"I told you, I will contact you with my decision, please leave me alone." She said, holding up her hand in an effort to try and stop him from moving any closer.
"I know, but I need to speak to you in private."
"I am not with anyone at the moment, what do you want?"
He looked at the humans that passed them by, each gave an annoyed glare as the two blocked the traffic on the sidewalk. "It’s not for sensitive ears, if you understand what I mean." He said and looked at another human that walked by.
She stared into his light blue eyes for a moment, trying to decide if she wanted to trust this vampire. "Fine, Mr. Milborough, come to my apartment." With that she spun around, and continued her march home.
"You can call me Kristian." He said after a few moments of walking by her side. When she looked back over to him, he could see the puzzlement on her face. "You called me Mr. Milborough, but I prefer to be called Kristian."
"Does it matter? I hope to never speak to you again after today."
He gave a quick nod, "Fair enough."
"How did someone like you get authorization to be turned?"
Looking at her out of the corner of his eye, she could tell he was annoyed by the question. "My master is Lord Tzion, he selected me to become his peon. I do not know what the reasons were."
"From what I understand, Tzion makes many strange decisions."
"You know of him?"
Her look told him that she thought his question was obtuse, "Tzion is the prophet of the Halloweds, it’s common knowledge among our kind."
"It may be common knowledge, but not many people know what he prophesizes. Most don’t even care, although most of what he writes is for Elders’ eyes only."
Kailin stopped at the front of her building, and opened the locked door with her key. She allowed Kristian to step in first and then walked in behind him, heading towards the elevator. They both fell silent, until the elevator doors closed.
"Is it true that you created the Mephis?" He asked out of the blue.
"What a peculiar thing to ask." Kailin said a little shocked, but hid it underneath the irritation in her voice.
"I am going to be blunt with you, Kailin, I was sent by the Hallowed Elders."
Kailin looked at him blankly, and he was a little surprised that she didn’t seemed upset or even curious. The ding sounded as the elevator doors opened, Mrs. Kraig stood in the hallway, speaking with another neighbor that Kailin wasn’t familiar with.
"Miss Drake!" Mrs. Kraig called out, and turned towards the elevators. The woman she had been talking to took the opportunity to escape the old woman’s clutches.
"Good morning, Mrs. Kraig, is something the matter?"
The old woman still dressed in the same clothing as the day before looked Kristian over, "What, are you bringing men over now? You will be joining that hussy roommate of yours in hell, Miss Drake."
Kristian looked both amused and appalled, as if he wanted to laugh, but knew he should be insulted.
"No, this is a business partner of mine, Kristian Milborough. Kristian, this is Mrs. Kraig, my neighbor."
"Business partner, eh? Is that what you hussies are calling them these days?" She said, spraying spit onto Kailin’s face as she spoke.
"Is there something you needed?" Kailin asked, wiping her hand over her cheek.
"Did you talk to that roommate of yours about bringing men here all the time?"
"Yes, I did. She’s going to join a twelve step program for hussies at some local church, if I heard her right."
Mrs. Kraig stared at her for a moment, as if she were trying to figure out if Kailin was telling the truth. "She should come to my church, we can whip her into shape. Maybe even find a man willing to marry a used woman."
"I’ll let her know your offer. Now, if you will excuse me, Kristian and I have to discuss some business." Kailin said, walking past her, and Kristian followed close behind.
"Follow your path of abstinence, don’t stray, Miss Drake, it’ll only lead to hell!" Mrs. Kraig shouted.
"Alright, Mrs. Kraig." She nodded as she unlocked the door, and stepped in allowing Kristian in before locking the door behind him.
He stared at the door for a moment, still able to hear the old woman’s screams. "What a strange woman."
Kailin gave a partial grin, "What did you want?"
"Like I said the elder’s sent me to speak with you, although I do want you to help me with my novel."
"What do the elders want from me?"
He looked over at the couch, and then back to Kailin. "I don’t know if you have watched the news or not, but the Mephis have been attacking the city. They killed over two hundred last night." He waited for a reply and got none, "They wanted me to ask you to begin killing them, their populations have sky rocketed and you are the only one who they can’t destroy."
"Ask me or command me?"
He gave a blank stare, offering no answer.
"I have been fighting against them my entire life and that’s all I can do. No one is more sorry for their creation then I am."
"Yes I have heard the story going through my training. You lost a sister and your lover." He looked around the apartment, "They believe that you are not as active as you should be in their destruction, and that..."
"Well, I am sorry, but it’s not like I have a master who gave me money to get started in life. I have to pretend everyday that I am a human, and make money to keep myself comfortable. I am not going to live in the fucking sewers, so that they can feel safer. Now get out of my home!"
Gabrielle’s bedroom door opened as Kailin stepped closer to him, in an effort to intimidate him. She gave them both a grin, as she rubbed her eyes. Kristian returned the grin, and was about to introduce himself, when Kailin snarled.
"I said get out!" She pointed at the door.
Her thunderous voice startled him, and he scrambled towards the door. Opening it, he stepped out, and grinned at Gabrielle who was still smiling at him. Kailin’s hand reached out, and slammed the door into his face.
"He was cute." Gabrielle smirked at the door, and then looked over at Kailin who was frowning.
"You act like a teenage girl, sometimes, Gabby."
"Every vampire keeps a piece of who they once were. So I kept my hormones, so what? It’s better then whatever you kept stuck up your ass."
Keeping her frown, Kailin walked into the kitchen for a glass of water. The shades for the dinning room and the kitchen were pulled down, so that the sun wouldn’t bother Gabrielle. Opening the cupboard above the sink, she pulled out a glass and filled it with water.
Gabrielle came around the corner, and sat on the bar stool at the breakfast bar. "You are home early, I just went to bed, when I heard you yelling out here. I thought you were yelling at me."
"There was nothing to do, I went in because I had a meeting with an author and that lasted a whole five minutes."
"The Hallowed?" Gabrielle asked, stroking her finger between the tiles on the counter.
"Yes, he is a peon for an elder. Tzion, no less. They want me to start killing the Mephis more, because of their population increase." She drank the entire glass with one gulp. "Who do they think I am? Insulting me by sending that child to give me orders."
Gabrielle giggled, "I doubt the outcome would have been any different had Tzion himself came to speak to you."
Pouring herself another cup of water, she looked over at her red headed companion, and gave a partial grin. "Perhaps not, but I wouldn’t be so insulted."
Ignoring their last few moments of conversation, Gabrielle cleared her throat before speaking. "I was thinking that we should go out tonight for a little game of cat and mouse, what do you say?"
Shaking her head, she frowned, "No, thank you, Gabby. I have a lot to deal with right now, and..."
"Pish posh, Kai, pish posh!" Gabrielle slapped her hand on the counter, "I don’t have to work tonight, and you need to relax. Take your mind off the elders, the Mephis, and the fact that Damon is running loose again. You need to hunt more, keep up your strength. We always have a great time hunting together..."
"No." Kailin put the glass in the sink, and turned to lean on the counter. “You have a great time abandoning me the moment we get there, and then bringing people over to laugh at my anti-social behavior. I don’t want to go.”
"Tough, how’s that? We are going out as soon as I wake up. So, when I get out here, you better be all prettied up. I mean dress, hair, make-up, the works! I want to hunt in style!"
Kailin tried not to grin at her friend’s enthusiasm, but failed. "Where do you want to hunt?"
She shrugged, "You always have an invitation to some sort of get together or another. I am sure there is one in your mail stack."
Gabrielle stood up, and walked into the living room, where next to the lamp was a mail sorter that Kailin used to separate bills, personal, and junk. Pulling the personal stack, she walked back over to the counter and picked up the first one in the stack.
"Hmm, Philip Everhart..." She thought for a moment, banging the envelope against her chin. "Oh, that’s the director that I liked. Remember he and I went shopping a couple of times, great guy!"
"Isn’t that the one that took you man hunting, and he almost caught you feeding?"
Gabrielle grinned, "Well, he would have caught me, had he not been so busy with a man of his own."
Reaching over Kailin took the envelope, "I don’t remember taking this out of the mail." She said as she opened it, "I would have opened it to see what it was."
"It’s an invitation..."
"Well, it’s on the top and so that would have been yesterday, cause I remember putting two envelopes in that slot."
"Who cares! Is it tonight?"
Kailin looked at the invitation, "Yes, but that doesn’t make any..."
"Shh! Who cares, Kai? I don’t." Gabrielle jumped to her feet, "Ok, when I wake up we will go."