As he awoke, Andrew realized that his office was trashed. It would take the ghouls hours to clean up the mess resulting from his frenzy. His sister was gone and he had no idea where to even start looking. Exhausted, he picked himself up off the floor and made his way through the secret passage to his haven.
Had Alice known anything? Probably not...he knew that now. His rage had gotten the better of him earlier, and he knew he should apologize to her. After all, they were friends and lovers. And he did love her. And not just because he'd tasted her blood on more than one occasion. And, whether she realized it or not,
she had his own vitae in her system. He'd originally planned on using her desire for thrill against her. Fuck her. Blood bond her that way. Most Kindred didn't realize blood could be used that way...regardless, his intentions had been cast aside as he actually got to know her. He'd even agreed to a mutual bond. Of
course, he was fully bound to his sire. But Alice didn't need to know that.
His sire--of course! How could he have been so stupid? She would know where to look for Carrie. Or at least have a better idea of where to start. Help was just a phone call away.
The room was, as expected, covered with pieces of art. None of them held any real merit over the others, but all were beautiful as far as Alice Campbell could tell. She was no art connoisseur, but she could tell the difference between something that was aesthetically pleasing and something that was not. She glanced at her watch. Always the one to arrive early, she'd gotten to the gallery half an hour before her scheduled meeting with Adelle. As if on cue with her wish to pass the time more quickly, her cell phone rang, the shrill noise echoing across the mostly empty room. She grabbed it quickly, and stepped into one of the hallways.
"What the fuck are you trying to pull, Campbell?"
She smilled. "Ah...Mr. Spencer, is there something the matter?"
"You know exactly what's the matter, bitch. I was just summoned by the Prince."
"I'm assuming it didn't work, then?"
"Of course not," he scoffed at the idea of a Brujah being more socially adept than himself. "What did you tell him?"
"I didn't tell him any little secrets, Mr. Spencer. Honestly."
"Damnit, Alice...I know you did something."
"Why on earth would I betray a cousin, my dear? I've always been loyal to the family."
"That has yet to be proven."
She chuckled. "Well, you can ask me when you see me next. I'm sure you can tell by now if I'm lying to your face, yes?"
"Right...meet me at ten. My office."
There was a click, and the line went dead. Alice turned the phone off and put it back in her pocket. She glanced at her watch again. Adelle was fashionably late. And Spencer was getting suspicious. She'd have to allay his fears somehow...
Gregory Spencer put down the phone in his office and looked across the room at Briggs.
"She'll be here."
"Good. I'm assuming you have a stake."
"Of course, sir."
"And you're sure she's the one who's framing you."
"Yes. I'm sure she told the Prince that I was responsible."
His half-answer, half-evasion was enough to be read as truth in his aura. Briggs had been staring through the conversation, and now nodded.
"Alright, then. You'll stake her and I will...question her. Privately. I want no interruptions."
"Very well, sir." Spencer hid his trivial fear--that the truth about him would also be discovered.
"Alice! It's so good to see you!"
The Primogen turned from the painting she was studying and smiled.
"And you, Adelle."
To keep the masquerade of old friends meeting, the two women hugged.
"I'm being followed," the Harpy whispered, "we need to leave. Now."
"What??" Alice whispered back furiously as they parted.
"So yes--I was thinking we could go for some coffee? The gallery is sure to be closing soon."
"Oh, of course. I know just the place."
They headed for the door. As soon as they reached the street, she felt Adelle watching her, and then heard her voice, projected into her mind.
There's two of them. Don't look now, but they're about a block behind us. Sabbat.
Alice nodded. "So how've you been?"
"Well, and yourself?"
They made idle chatter as they walked towards the coffee shop run by the Tremere. They had just come to an alleyway a block away when--suddenly--they found themselves surrounded by solid black. If they had the need to breathe, it would have been a suffocating darkness. The sounds of the night became muffled in the abyssal black, and both Alice and Adelle lost all sense of where they were.
Shit! What's going on?
Adelle had never dropped the mental link. Alice processed her thoughts, sending a reply--and finding herself very glad that her sire had taught her about the Sabbat during her Accounting.
It's a Lasombra power. Don't drop this link, whatever you do, we can't hear each other otherwise.
How do we get out of it?
Shroud burns. Strike a match.
I'll do one better. You still beside me?
Alice reached out an arm and brushed against someone. She went that way and put her hand on the individual's shoulder.
Is that you I'm touching?
Then yes, I am.
Good. Stay there.
Adelle reached into her purse and pulled out the weapon she kept there.
Might want to close your eyes. This could be ugly.
The Harpy closed her own eyes and pulled the trigger, aiming in front of her. A jet of flame spewed forth from the small barrel. The deal she'd made for it with Brujah seemed to have paid off. When she opened her eyes, the shroud was gone. They were in the alleyway. Surrounded by four attackers. One of them was writhing on the ground. On fire.
Open your eyes, we have to get out.
Alice opened her eyes and cringed. She hated fighting. One of the Sabbatists lunged for her, claws sprouting from his fingers. In the bat of an eye, she dodged to the side and pulled her gun. No time for a silencer tonight. She could see Adelle fighting out of the corner of her eye, and then she felt a knife in her side. No--a claw, she realized as she turned to look, her gun moving with her line of vision. She put a bullet in his head. The force knocked him back against the dumpster.
I've got an idea. Majesty.
Adelle grinned, hearing the idea from her ally. She focused and expended the sheer force of her will to force her most commanding presence upon those around her. She briefly felt Alice's similar power effect her, but managed to ignore it. The Sabbatists looked puzzled for a moment, and kept their distance.
Let's go. Now.
My thoughts exactly. Alice retorted, backing away from the pack.