Olivia climbed out of the window to escape the stink of Jack and the threat of being pranked by the malks, and walked around the side of theatre, her footsteps soft. The exterior of the Swan theatre was grubby and overgrown, ground littered with broken glass and cigarette butts.
Samuel, the gangrel primogen, stood with Dante at the door. He wore neatly pressed dress trousers and a dinner jacket that looked as if had been worn less than three times.
“If he would just leave,” Samuel glanced at his watch. “I don’t suppose you could-”
Dante smirked, eyes dancing. “We are civilised here in Grimouth, Samuel. One does not simply make someone leave Elysium. That would be crass. And someone would notice.”
Samuel folded his arms. “The prince is plastered. I doubt she’d notice if the place came down around her ears.”
Dante gave a low laugh, shaking his head. “I wasn’t talking about the prince.”
“I know.” Samuel gave a small smile. “Are you saying the prince is irrelevant?”
Dante looked coy. “Samuel! I would never say such a thing! Why would you say I would say such a thing?”
Dante frowned and looked up as Olivia approached the front door. “Oh, hello Olivia. Any particular reason you’re entering Elysium twice tonight?”
Olivia stuck her hands in her pockets. “Feeling a bit closed in. Needed some air.” She looked to Samuel, who smiled and inclined his head. “You need Jack to leave?”
Dante seemed to mull this over. “It would be for the best, yes. Samuel here is loathe to carry out his primogenly duties.” Samuel looked a little troubled, but did not contradict the malk.
Olivia shrugged. “I’ll see what I can do.”
The party was in full swing as Olivia returned to find Jack still cornering Shen, pontificating at length on the merits of dumpster diving.
Shen caught her eye and looked reproachful. “Where were you?”
“I needed some air.” Olivia looked to Jack. “We’re leaving next. Want to come with?”
“Uh, sure.” Jack scratched his chin. “Just let me talk to my primogen first.”
After a cursory scan of the room, Jack ambled in the direction of the largest group of gangrel, and began to introduce himself to the most smartly dressed.
Shen looked sideways at Olivia. “You going to let him do that?”
“Mhm.” Olivia sucked her cheeks. “Samuel didn’t want to talk to him. Some political thing. Now hush, I’m listening.”
Shen sighed. “Poor guy, he doesn’t even have a haven.”
Olivia closed her eyes and focused, blocking out the noise of the party and Jack’s blundering formal introduction to Joshua the ancilla, the prince’s breathless laughter into the shoulder of the Ventrue primogen. One single salient set of sensory input emerged; quiet, deliberate footsteps and the faint smell of soap and garlic.
Olivia opened her eyes. “Hello Cain.”
“Hello Olivia.” The Nosferatu primogen and keeper of Elysium stood a little taller than Shen. He wore a well-cut black suit, inoffensively expensive, his gnarled hands clasped at his midriff. When Olivia had first met him, she had wondered if he had bought a costume from a hammer horror era movie, so extreme was his deformity. But there was no smell of latex here, no artist’s putty. There was simply Cain. From the corners of his eyelids to his jowls, it seemed as if his pale flesh had melted and flowed, folding in upon itself, and his ears were long and tapered, protruding from the sides of his head.
“Your new friend will need a phone,” said Cain. He meant more than just a phone, of course. Kindred working for the Grimouth court were often provided with encrypted technology for communicating with their superiors. It also provided ample opportunity for Cain’s clan to listen in.
“We’re friends already, huh.” Olivia sniffed.
“So I am reliably informed,” said Cain. “Besides which, your coterie is down a member.”
Olivia’s shoulders fell a little. “You want to send it to Goodwin Tower? You could track down whatever park Jack’s going to be sleeping in.”
“If I send it to Goodwin, I have another pair of eyes watching the streets,” said Cain. “And given the circumstances…”
“Yeah, okay, I’ll take him the phone.” For the last few months, Grimouth had suffered an influx of new kindred from other parts of the country, and Olivia knew the primogens’ resources would be stretched thin.
“Thank you Olivia.” Cain seemed pleased with her answer.
“So, what now?” Jack ambled cheerfully alongside Olivia and Shen as they made their exit. Samuel, still near the door, looked relieved.
“We were going back to Goodwin to play Call of Duty with some of the guys,” said Olivia. “You’re welcome to come if you like.”
“Call of Duty?” Jack looked puzzled.
“It’s a game where you shoot people.”
Jack scratched the back of his neck. “Ah. Not really my thing.”
“Just as well,” said Shen. “Olivia cheats.”
“Says Mr celerity over there,” said Olivia.
Jack shook his head. “You know, I really wanted to hunt tonight. You guys know any good spots?”
Shen and Olivia looked at each other, and Olivia cleared her throat. “Ah, hunting? We don’t really…”
Shen looked thoughtful. “One of our old coterie used to hunt in a park pretty near here. I could show you that, if you want.”
Jack brightened visibly. “A park? Cool.”