“Well ello Nevens, wonderful evening we’re having eh?’
“I should say so Henry, a bit chilly but nice none the less.” Nevens answered as he pulled his cloak closer around him.
“Where you off to Nevens?’
“Lessons. The head master has championed each of the new professors to be there for Mr. Lock’s lecture, and I still have lectures to study myself. I dare say it shall be a bit tedious and boring, given the situation. I believe it will be complete and utter chaos for the students.”
“You do say, and how long is Mr. Lock staying with us?” Henry asked laughing.
“I believe tis a week at the very least, and the students are all in a thunder. I swear many of them have already loss themselves to his opulence.”
“Well I must be off, you know how Grimbly gets if I’m late. I shall see you in the dinning hall later Nevens. Keep your chin up chum, twull all be over soon enough.” Henry called over his shoulder as he made his way to the rectory.
Nevens sighed as he continued walking towards the library pensively. To be as liberal as Lock, why that was just imagination for some. Nevens had never once lived outside of himself. To be that free and independent was just a dream to him.
He stumbled, dropped his lecture materials, then bent to pick them up. He suddenly noticed the pair of boots in front of him.
“Hello.” The voice said, and Nevens looked up completely surprised.
The young man standing before him was unknown. Nevens was sure he wasn’t one of his students, as he bent to help Nevens pick up his scattered notes. However, what caught Nevens’ attention was the pale blue of his eyes, as if they were exactly what the sky would look like on a clear summer day.
He couldn’t be much older than Nevens himself. Yet, somehow Nevens knew he didn’t belong here at Oxford; despite the fur lined cloak, and suit he wore.
“May I be of some assistance sir?” Nevens asked as he stood to his feet.
“Actually you may, I’m looking for the lecture hall. I’ve come to hear Lock speak tonight.”
“Oh that.” Nevens muttered, and the young man smiled.
“And you do not care for Mr. Lock?”
“Not particularly. I think he is selfish, irresponsible, and a bit of a dreamer.”
“Really now?” The man asked laughing.
“Yes and this whole blasted lecture is a disruption, which the university could most certainly do without. His ideals on there being no Original Sin are preposterous. It obliterates all that we here at Oxford teach and believe! Why the head master would even allow this, I can most certainly not fathom.”
The stranger laughed again.
“Well then, might I suggest a nice warm glass of ale to take the chill off, and you may entertain me with your thoughts on Lock while we await the lecture?”
The stranger smiled, and strangely enough, Nevens realized that he was actually agreeing to the strangers request with a smile.
Nevens and the stranger walked across campus chit chatting about this and that, and once they reached the gentleman’s club, the stranger handed his cloak and cane to the lad at the door. He motioned for Nevens to take a seat, and he did a bit nervously.
“Now, where were we?” He asked and Nevens looked at him blankly.
This fellow was quite strange, Nevens pondered as Standish served him the warm cider ale.
The sharp blue eyes seemed to notice everything around him, and each time he smiled, it was as if Nevens was missing something. Nevens returned the smile, but felt a bit uncomfortable.
As the night wore on, someone suddenly touched Nevens on the shoulder.
“Nevey, the lecture is about to begin. Head master’s assistant Willis is searching for you, you best make haste Nevey!” Cromely cried excitedly as he grabbed Nevens cloak, scarf and gloves.
“Well thank you for the ale, maybe we shall meet again sir.” Nevens returned with a smile and the stranger nodded, but the look was anything but friendly as he looked at Cromely. Nevens paled slightly as he looked at the stranger again, then turned quickly and hurried from the room with Cromely in tow.
The lecture went off without a hitch, and by the end of the week, Nevens felt exhausted. Although he had enjoyed the lecture immensely to his surprise, he was lecturing again, and he smiled as he made his way to the gentleman’s club. He suddenly thought about the stranger, and realized he hadn’t seen him again since the night Lock was on campus. However, he was happy to see Lock and his entourage depart for greener pastures. After the initial shock of it, the next week transitioned back into its normal smoothness. Nevens was happy to be lecturing again.
As he stepped across the threshold of the club, he felt someone staring at him. He gasped as he recognized the stranger. He realized instantly, he’d never gotten the fellows name. He motioned for Nevens to have a seat, and he did timidly.
“I dare say I didn’t think I’d ever see you again.” Nevens chirped nervously with a slight smile.
“Well I happened to be in the neighborhood on an errand of business, and decided to stop in and have a slight nip. I had no notion I would run into you again Mr. Meaney.” The stranger replied with a slight smile of his own.
“And you are sir?” Nevens asked as the young fellow served him the steaming ale. It took the chill off his hands and the tip of his nose as he brought the mug to his lips.
“Did I not introduce myself?” The stranger asked grinning.
“No, I don’t believe you did sir?”
“Sephoroth…Mr. Meaney.” He said extending his hand across the table to Nevens. Nevens noticed it was a bit chilled as he took it, but he just assumed he had most likely just came from outside.
“What a peculiar name you have sir, and what is it you do Mr. Sephoroth?”
“Yes well some say. And most assuredly sir is not required, and this and that.” He countered, and Nevens noticed the smile again. Nevens also realized there was no mirth in that smile. Nevens observed it didn’t reach his eyes either. Nevens nervously fiddled with his ale, as they both sat in silence staring at the flames in the fireplace.
After about an hour Nevens cleared his throat and rose from the table.
“Well my friend, I guess I shall be off. I do say I am dreading the 4am class call I must answer to.”
“And I alas must be on my way as well. Mayhap we shall meet again Mr. Meaney. I dare say I cannot wait until we do. Good night to ye, kind sir.” He returned, shook Nevens extended hand, then walked from the room. Nevens looked at the spot Mr. Sephoroth vacated, and he felt a chill suddenly run up his spine.
“Okay thar old Nevey?” Brineridge asked as he saw Nevens just standing there. Nevens shook himself, then looked up with a slight smile. Snap out of it Nevey, he chided himself, then looked at Brineridge again.
“Yes just fine Brineridge. Well I’m off then.” Nevens said as he left the club.
The night air was extremely cold, despite the fact that it was mid October. He gathered his cloak tighter around him, and hurried on his way to the dormitories.
As he climbed the stairs, he could have sworn he’d heard a noise. He paused on the landing to look back, lifted the candle for a better look, but he saw nothing. He trotted on to his quarters then.
Nevens shed his clothes, then got into bed sighing.
He moaned to himself as that bottomless feeling enveloped him once again. Where is yer life headed Nevey? He asked himself frowning. He was already 28, and still nowhere near to being established. He was the last handed lectures, the first to be over looked for elevation, and the last to be called friend. Were it not for Henry, he would have no clue what the word friend actually meant. He sighed again, reached over and blew the candle out, then hunkered down into the blankets feeling what true wretchedness felt like.Gentleman
Something woke him. Nevens jerked awake and sat straight up in the bed. He looked around the room, but saw nothing. He placed his hand to his chest and could feel the thudding of his own heart. He took a deep breath, and as he was about to lay back down he heard the strike of a match; then the room was illuminated.
That was when Nevens saw him. Before the words could leave Nevens mouth, he already had Nevens, the scream lodging in Nevens’ throat. Nevens felt himself floating higher and higher. When he pulled back from him, Nevens realized it was the stranger.
“I could leave ye here…like this. Is this what you wish?” He whispered near Nevens’ ear then.
“N…n…no.” Nevens whispered back, but he could barely breathe as he did. He could feel what one might call life force leaving him.
“You have a choice then, something I was never given. I can leave you like this and you will die, or you can take my blood; and I can offer you all you wish my beautiful one. But you must make a choice now, or you will die.” He said and before he realized it, Nevens began to suckle at his wrist. He felt the convulsions, then everything went black.
* * *
Nevens was startled awake by the sound of birds, scrambled out of bed, then rushed around the room gathering his clothes. He dressed as quickly as he could, washed his face, gather his notes and rushed from the room. He ran towards the lecture hall, and by the time he got there, he noticed he wasn’t even out of breath.
As he walked into the hallway, he saw his students were waiting by the door. It was already 7:30 am. He’d missed three and a half hours! He looked up and saw the Headmaster coming his way. In the six years he had been there, Nevens had yet to see the Headmaster.
“May I have a word Mr. Meaney?” He inquired with a deep frown. Nevens motioned for his student to enter the room as he unlocked the door, then nodded to the Headmaster.
“I dare say that you are nearly four hours later Mr. Meaney?”
“Yes Headmaster, this I know. I had a dreadful ache which caused me to over sleep, and it shall never happen again.” Nevens replied looking contrite.
“And see to it that it does not Mr. Meaney. The only reason I am employing leniency is that in all the years you have been here, you have been impeccable where time is concerned. See to it that it does not happen again.” The Headmaster quipped, then turned on his heel leaving Nevens to stare after him.
Nevens breathed a relieved sigh as he entered his lecture hall.
* * *
As the day wore on Nevens began to feel worse and worse, so by the time his lectures were finished for the day he had to cancel off with Henry. He headed straight for his room, but never made it. When he came along the crypts of many long dead and famous alumni of the college, the pain seemed to wrack his entire body. He thought, if he could just rest for a minute, as he made his way inside the crypt. Nevens crawled into a small spot, and closed his eyes as he the images began to fill his head. He gasped opening his eyes, and he was standing before him.
“What have you bloody done to me?” He shouted, and the stranger smiled.
“Nothing I cannot fix if you will only let me.” He replied and Nevens scrambled away from him.
“Don’t touch me!” He screamed.
“Mr. Meaney, you mustn’t act this way if I am to help you.” He called softly.
“Go to hell, you demon!” Nevens screamed again, and the next thing he knew the man had him by the throat, his feet were dangling.
“We shall not resort to name calling Mr. Meaney. You will need me very soon, and when you do, but call and I will be here.”
“I will never call on you demon!” Nevens yelled, and the stranger tossed him aside.
“You shall, or I will put you down myself. You cannot be allowed to roam all of England of your own accord. I just cannot have that. For your own safety, may I suggest you remain here for tonight? I will send someone else to you, but you cannot remain here like some rabid animal.” He hissed, then disappeared.
Nevens curled into a ball moaning to himself.
What had he done to him?
What had he become?
What would happen to him now?England
Havenshire Estates…“I need that fucken book Saix, and you shall get it for me. I need you on the next plane to America now, not tomorrow.”
“Surely they’re already looking for it?” Saix replied frowning.
“It has been nine months, and not one person has been able to find Magellan. I need you on this Saix, because it seems I cannot trust anyone else!” Sephoroth yelled as he threw the man across the room, then walked to him and ripped his throat out.
Saix closed his eyes and sighed. When he opened them, he looked at the private dick. Sephoroth could be such an asshole sometimes.
“And ye remember it too Saix. I want it in a week.” He threatened.
Saix nodded and left the room frowning.
Walgreens Santa Monica blvd…
Saix watched her as she walked into the Walgreens, and realized she was oblivious to nearly everything and everyone around her. She was beautiful though, he thought watching her with a slight smile. It wasn’t beauty like the four other women she was with, but something so quiet it silently called to him, drawing her to him.
He shook himself then.
What the fuck was he doing?
Seph would kill him if he found out. He looked up and saw Ennix. He motioned towards Saix, and he replaced the magazine walking towards the door.
“Mullins just appened to be at Charley’s yesterday, and he said he spotted the bird with the green hair there. I’ve got two invites for Taboo for us tonite if yer up to it?” Ennix asked, then shoved Saix because he wasn’t paying attention to him.
“What?” Saix asked annoyed.
“Where the hell is yer brain Saix, I said…”
“I heard you! Fine, whatever.”
“Ye best get yer head off the birds Saix, ye know what we came here for.”
“Shut your bloody cakehole Ennix I know, now come on.” Saix snapped, as he took one last look back at her. She would be his he vowed, as he walked out the Walgreens and into the purple twilight of the night.
“Do ye always answer the phone that sexy?” He asked, and I laughed to myself.
Sexy didn’t even describe his voice.
“Where are we meeting?” I asked and he chuckled.
I felt a tingle go up my spine then.
“Are we meeting then? Surely you don’t distrust me this soon?” He responded laughing. “How about the Standard on Sunset? They have a lovely terrace here.”
“Okay, when?” I grinned into the phone.
“How about now, I’m already here. I shall wait for you on the terrace then.” Was his response as he hung up.
I looked at myself one last time in the mirror, grabbed my wrap, and headed out the door. I was glad it was the Standard; at least I wouldn’t be over dressed.The Standard
I gave my keys to the valet as I pulled up on the side of the hotel. I smoothed my hair, then my dress, and walked into the lobby.
I was directed to the left, and was surprised it was crowed with people. Especially since, it was a Sunday night. I caught sight of him before he saw me, and paused.
He was dressed in dark blue jeans, a sports coat which looked like it’d just come off Versace’s rack; a white button down shirt, black shoes, and his hair was gelled to perfection.
He spotted me, and I could have sworn his mouth formed the word O. He caught himself and beckoned me to him. I decided to let the shoes guide me, instead of my normal gangly walk.
I got a bunch of stares from dudes I would never imagine in a million years would ever approach me. As I made my way to him, a tall handsome guy suddenly stopped me. I looked up surprised, and his Hollywood bleached smile was pinned on me.
“Hi, I’m Seth.” He said taking my hand and kissing it.
I was at a loss.
Before I could answer, he walked up. He smiled, took my hand from Seth’s, and walked me to our table.
“Awe c’mon!” Seth cried, placing his hand to his heart.
I laughed, then shrugged.
Seth sent me a smile, and mouthed, “Next time” then winked.
I sat down, and he grinned.
“I would dead certs not say you are the same woman I met last night.”
“And why would you say that?” I asked with a slight frown.
“You my dear are a complete and utter surprise.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It was not meant in the way you think.”
“Well then, what way was it meant?”
“It was meant as a compliment, nothing more. Ye my love, are a right gorgeous bird.” He countered grinning again as he ordered a martini.
I laughed waiting for him to say, “Shaken, not stirred.”
I ordered a Madori sour with a splash of Vodka.
He grinned again.
“So, do I finally get to know your name?” I inquired and he looked at me surprised.
“Did I not tell you?”
“No, and you know you didn’t.” I replied grinning back.
“Blimey, me manners are worst than I’d thought.” He came back with and his grin got just a bit wider. I noticed he never really smiled outright.
“Saix? Like the number? Wow, that’s different.”
“I would suppose it is. Now, shall we march off?”
“Leave, but I thought…” I stammered as he rose, then dropped some bills on the table.
“This was just to make you feel a bit more comfortable. I’ m not some cabbage chopper, and I do not accost unsuspecting females.” He answered back, and there was that smile again. “Of course, unless they’re well up for it.” He challenged winking.
He took my hand then and led me towards the double doors. He paused, and then told me he’d be back in a sec. He walked over to where the guy Seth was. He touched him on the back, bent and whispered something to him, and Seth gave him the thumbs up and bowed.
When he came back, he had that same damn grin.
“What did you say to him?”
“Tis the business of rivals darlin.” He grinned, took my hand and led me from the hotel.
“Shouldn’t I follow you in my car?”
“Not atall necessary, we are merely chipping down the block.” He replied and tugged on my hand.
“I promise not to allow anything to happen to you, at least anything you don’t want.” He said and I realized there was something behind that fricken grin of his.
I sighed, and thought what the hell.
We cleared the door and the place was really dark once we got inside. I saw a large guy at the door and gasped. He looked down at me, then smiled.
Saix took my hand and led me through an archway, which opened up.
There were tables to the left, a bar, and booths on the right side. The dance floor was crowed, and I heard Paula DeAnda’s “Easy” playing. I was surprised at the people.
These were some gorgeous people!
He led me to a booth in the back then.
As I sat down, I noticed the red velvet curtains tied back. He noticed my look, grinned and ordered a drink. My brow rose.
What was he up to?
I ordered another Madori sour and sat back looking around. I watched the people on the dance floor, and realized the music was somewhat seductive. Something like you’d hear on Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Vampire Diaries. I chuckled to myself, as I noticed the gothic people in the corner.
The server brought my drink then.
“Well ello Saix. Long time no see. I’d heard ye’d chipped it back to London?” She said, then bent and kissed his cheek. “When did ye get here? And where’s Mavaleen?” She asked and he frowned.
“Decided to stay this time.” He replied looking at me. She looked at me then too, nodded with a smile, then left.
“But I thought you said you didn’t know L.A.?” I asked, eyes narrowing.
“I don’t. Marluxia travels a lot. The last time I came to the states we met in Chicago.”
“Oh.” I said, but didn’t believe him. “And who’s Mavaleen?” I inquired concentrating on the drink in my hand.
“Jealous?” He countered grinning.
“No.” I retorted looking at him, my chin rising just a bit.
“Leave it out! Yer not, then I must see to it that ye are. Shall we dance?”
Was his response as he rose and put his hand out to me. I looked at it for several seconds, then took it as I sighed. He walked me to the dance floor and took me in his arms. We swayed to the music, and I looked up at him.
“Has anyone ever told you, you have the most beautiful eyes?” He whispered, and I just looked up at him stupidly.
What did one say to that?
“Ye my love, are one beautiful woman. Any man would be lucky to have a bird like ye on his arm.” He grinned as the song changed to Kylie Minouge’s “Chocolate”.
I loved this song, it was soo seductive.
“Yeah sure, and I bet you tell that to all the ladies.” I replied as he turned me away from him brining my arm up placing it around his neck, then traveled the length of it. A tingle went up my spine, and an involuntary gasp left my lips as he smiled.
“You think I speak untruths?” He asked his brow rising, as he spun me out, then pulled me back in so I had to catch hold of him, my breast molding to his chest.
He had a funny way of speaking sometimes. One minute he spoke as if, he was from the old streets of London, and the next as if he was straight out of one of those old British novels. I almost expected him to start reciting Lord Byron or something.
He looked at me then and laughed.
My eyes narrowed.
“The look on your face is incredibly comic. What were you thinking just then?”
“You so don’t wanna know.” I muttered, and the music changed again.
It was Paul Wall and Jon.B’s “Tonight”. He turned me around in his arms like at the restaurant, then placed his hands on my hips. The smell of him enveloped me, and I felt light headed. His hands began to caress my back, and I thought this was not a good place to be.
I turned to face him again, and the next thing I knew I was kissing him back.
It was a long, sensual, probing kiss, and I could feel it down to my toes. His hand snaked its way to the nape of my neck, cradling my head as the kiss deepened, and I felt electricity shoot up my spine.
At that moment, he could have probably gotten me to agree to just about anything, right then and there. I broke the kiss first, and we both stared gasping for breath.
I walked away from him, went to the table, grabbed my purse, then headed for the door.
As I cleared the outer doors and got outside, he caught up with me.
“What? Where are you going?” He cried as he came up alongside me.
I stopped to look at him then. That face, was very dangerous to my whole being. I stared at him for a couple of seconds more, then turned and kept walking.
I so could not do this.
Not with him!
He suddenly snatched me around to face him, pulled me to him and gave me another scorching kiss.
“Stop it!” I cried.
“Why, because ye might actually fancy it?” He jeered and I tried to slap him.
He caught my arm, and pulled me to him again.
“Why do you fight this so? For once in your life, just let go.” He whispered, and I stared at him open mouthed.
“You don’t know shit about me.” I hissed.
“Don’t I? Ye trot off on the easy road. The road with fewer risks. Yer friends see ye as a diamond geezer, and ye dead certs walk the straight and narrow. Moreover, ye never, ever question anything anymore. Why the hell else would ye have done a bunk just this second? Moreover, deep inside, I know tis not you! I can feel your passion.”
I snatched away from him and started up the street again. He gave me a headache, just trying to figure out what the fuck it was he was saying.
He snatched me around again, and looked into my eyes.
“Just let go Jobey. I promise tis not as bad as you think.” He whispered.
“What I think, is our deal is off.”
I spat and snatched my arm from him, walking towards my car.
“Esti un heartach care aşteaptă să se întâmple şi nu am timp pentru asta.”
I muttered to myself, heard him gasp but ignored him, and kept walking.
What I said was basically, he was a heartache waiting to happen and I don't have time for this shit in Romanian.
He watched me walk off, but this time made no move to stop me.
“What the bloody hell is going on now Malfoy?” Jennings snapped as he walked into the Council chambers frowning.
“My sentiments exactly. Where the fuck is that book?” Rafael spat, then took his seat glaring at Malfoy.
“We’ve an entire team looking for it, not to mention Marshow and Cooper.”
“It’s almost as if the bloody thing has disappeared?” Mildred wailed, and many of the members nodded as well.
“MI6 has found a location.” Mina replied as she walked into the room, Alice close behind her.
“Where?” Rafael snapped, and Mina frowned at him.
“The lot of ye’ll not like the answer to that.” Alice countered as she took her seat, then looked over at Mina.
“Just tell us where the bloody hell it is Alice.” Malfoy hissed, and Alice frowned as well.
“Magellan sprinted it off to America. Seems there’s some other portion of the prophesy which the oracles on five bloody neglected to tell us. If you ask me, Hugo wanted it that way, because Havashaw explicitly stated it wasn’t my bleedin business.”
“Brilliant, just bloody brilliant. So does this mean the guard has to fucken ship off to America?” Rafael yelled, and Malfoy sighed.
“No, not yet. We can have Marshow and Cooper handle this. Not to mention, they can claim some kind of international law bollix.” Malfoy responded, and Mildred nodded.
“But what I don’t understand is why would Magellan take it? Has he not been in loyal service to Sephoroth for the last 35 years?” Mina questioned, and Alice nodded.
“Exactly, so for him to take it there must be something more to the bloody prophesy. And I have not been able to find out just why Mavalin killed the Klok kvinna in the first place.” Malfoy spat, and Mildred frowned.
“Obviously, we don’t have the full prophesy, and that is the main thing this Council should be worried about. We do not want Pallid to get wind of what the lot of them has been up to in the last year.” Mildred returned, and the members nodded.
“Especially Hugo, he mate is always fucken on one.” Seamus cried, and they nodded again.
“Completely, we need to bang this about for a bit, then decide what is to be done. The median cannot, and I repeat not hand that bloody book off to someone else, especially not Arieanna. If she comes into this power, then the prophesy will parallel all six levels, and I’m not even sure she could be stopped!
Tis the very reason Marshow was to keep that fucken wolf from finding her. If she does comrades, it can change life as we know it, and who do the lot of ye think Hugo will take the toll from?” Rafael spat, then looked at Malfoy, and he agreed reluctantly.
“My thoughts exactly, but for now, I shall send Cooper and Marshow on their way. If what Zinnia has said is true, then they haven’t found it either. Sephoroth sent his Secundă there to retrieve it, but Hennes said a woman or something sidetracked the lad; so let us hope he continues to be, long enough for Marshow and Cooper to collect the book. First and foremost we need to find that fucken median.” Malfoy countered, and the entire Council agreed.
“Then have way wit them now, before we get any further up to our bloody eyes in the fucken muck.” Jennings muttered, Malfoy nodded to Stanaley, and he rushed from the room.