One of the other tremere had patched up the hole in his chest with mud, and given him a perscription to see Dante. It hadn’t struck Jed as the best idea, but on the other hand, perhaps his fear of the malkavian primogen was simply an aspect of the mental illness that the tremere claimed afflicted him.
Dante had agreed to see him in short order, and sat waiting in his office as his ghouls led the two of them in. He looked sharply at Jack as the gangrel followed Jed inside.
“You want your companion here with you during your treatment?”
Jed looked at Dante, feeling a flicker of unease. He didn’t want to be alone with the primogen. “He stays.”
Dante nodded sagaciously. “As you wish, Jedivan. Please, take a seat. Now, if you could tell me about your first episode?”
Jed began to speak, slowly at first, but the words flowed like rot from a wound, and Dante was a scalpel, his magic making Jed at once lucid and suggestible. Had Jed not been so far under his spell, so strangely at peace in his presence, he might have wondered at the destructive capacity of Dante’s will, on kindred and kine minds alike. As it was, he spoke; of his fear and his regret, the bitterness of his failure and the heat of his rage rendered cold and impotent. Jack seemed to fade into the background as Dante spoke to him, sifting real memories from delusions and reliving the choices that he had made.
At the end of it, he felt shrived, the demoniac whisper gone from his ear, the shadow gone from the corner of his eye.
Dante cracked his knuckles, looking pleased. “Now,” he said, brightly. “There is one last service I may provide to you Jedivan, as I provided to your kin at Lucius’ request. As you probably know, the blood of your clan carries with it a certain… susceptibility to mental manipulation.”
Jed nodded. “I’m listening.”
“There are ways to overcome this,” said Dante. “A long-standing Dominate, worded correctly goes a long way to ameliorating the problem. I have generally used something along the lines of ‘fly true and follow your heart’, but, given your unique position…” Dante smiled, spreading his hands. “Something like ‘serve the camarilla’ might be more appropriate.”
Jed nodded again. “Jack, could you leave us a moment?”
Jack looked concerned. “You sure?”
Jed closed his eyes. “I am sure.”
Jack tugged his forelock to the malkavian primogen and left the office, shutting the door behind him. Dante got up, and took a seat next to Jed.
“This will require physical contact,” he said.
Jed met his eyes, a tight feeling in his chest. “Of course.”
Dante placed his hand on Jed’s shoulder, and Jed was surprised by the warmth of it; the strength of Dante’s grip and the intensity of his gaze as Dante moved his face close, his voice low, but carrying with it an unmistakable weight.
“Obey the ruling powers of Grimouth.”