In which Jack courts disfavour

“You did what?” Olivia felt her anger as a tightness in her chest, the Beast pushing, an insistent pressure from behind her eyes. The door behind her rattled in its frame, and a couple of security ghouls edged into the room, moving to stand behind her.
Jack stood over the unconscious oracle’s gurney in Goodwin tower’s reception area, his mouth and arm bloody. “I just gave her my vitae, I don’t see the problem here,” he complained. “She was running low.”
Olivia caught Shen’s eye, but the doctor’s expression was carefully neutral. Her voice was hard as she issued the order to the guards. “Take her downstairs to the Vault.”
“Ah, safe downstairs? Good plan. I’ll go with her, to watch over her.” Jack smiled toothily.
“No.” Olivia moved between Jack and the girl, staring the huge kindred down. “I’m not letting you into my haven.”
Jack made as if to protest, but his eyes flicked to the half dozen guards that had moved to flank her, and he stepped back, snarling.
Olivia nodded to the guards as they escorted the gurney away.
Jack sniffed. “You could’ve told me you wanted her.”
“You can let yourself out.” Olivia followed the guards through the door, and it hissed shut behind them.

The Vault was a wonder cast in titanium and steel, the smooth submarine lines of the walkways practical and, Olivia liked to think, a little bit baroque. They were vampires, after all.
They had hooked up the oracle to a drip of human blood, and she lay back on the white silk sheets, her skin deathly pale and her blonde hair strewn over the pillows, her mouth a ruin of red, still twisting into half-formed words. Her eyes were blue and empty and staring.
Olivia tried not to look down at her shaking hands as Shen joined her.
“I couldn’t stop him,” he said. “Not after what I pulled with the Ravnos kids tonight. I’m sorry.”
He’s covering for Jack. They’re working together, they’re going to pull you apart from the inside. The thoughts came to her unbidden, and she sighed. Of all the vampires she had ever met, Shen had the least guile. “It’s ok, Shen. She’s safe now.” She looked up. “How’re the kids? Ravnos?”
Shen looked pleased. “I had one of the guys from the chantry run their blood. Fifteenth gen. Got John showing them the How to be a Vampire powerpoint now, hope you don’t mind.”
Olivia allowed herself a small smile. “He does seem to enjoy teaching. Maybe he likes the talking down to people.”
“Maybe,” Shen agreed.
“So, fifteenth gen, eh?” Olivia pushed her glasses up, rubbing the bridge of her nose. “How’re you going to get them away from Dante?”
“I made a call to Tom up in Thornwood. He reckons they can find a place for them. Plus he still owes us for saving his people,” said Shen. “You fancy a road trip tomorrow night?”
Olivia looked up at Shen, suddenly aware of how incredibly tired she felt. “Sure,” she said quietly. “Why not?”

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