After Jed had left, flying off into the night, Olivia sought out the werewolf lord again, and met him on the steps of the tower. “Joshua?”
“Yes?” The werewolf looked somehow not as large as before, and not as sweaty, though his demeanour was otherwise unchanged.
“I meant to talk to you earlier. I’m concerned about Jack.” Olivia folded her arms over her chest, careful not to raise her voice.
Joshua’s brow furrowed. “Concerned?”
Olivia nodded. “He’s started bloodbinding other members of my coterie. Jed.”
Joshua exhaled through his nose, his expression unmoved. “I see. Where is he now?”
Olivia pulled her phone from her pocket and looked at it a moment. “Huh. They’re upriver near the Grim. Here.” She flashed the map to Joshua.
Joshua inclined his head. “Thank you. I think I must have a talk with Jack.”
“Just a talk?”
Joshua grinned toothily. “Just a talk.”
Jed wheeled through the air in the darkness by the river, the taste of Jack’s blood still in his mouth. Jack had taught him quickness, and now his wings seemed to blur as he flew; faster than any mortal creature had a right to.
“To the east, there’s a spot, well covered,” he called, and he saw Jack nod and follow his direction.
Jack, who was his friend.
Jack dug a grave in the soft earth by the river, and they buried the setites there, still torpored and bound, with the tracking chip from Jack’s dead ghoul to mark the spot. Their bodies disposed of, they headed for the warehouse district, racing the dawn.
The warehouse Olivia had directed them to was near the edge, well-kept, with high windows. A couple of defunct shelving units stood tall and lonely in one corner, but the place was otherwise empty. Jack seemed to survey the place critically.
“It’ll do, I guess,” he grunted. “Huh. Even got a basement. Good thing too, with those windows.”
Jed frowned up at the windows, where the grey light of pre-dawn was visible through the industrial grime. “I vote we head downstairs.”
“Right you are, Jed.”
Jack followed him down, closing the door behind them. The place was pretty much empty, save for some crumpled plastic wrapping in one corner. One hand to the floor, Jed reached out with his senses. A figure? On the roof?
“Hey Jack, did Olivia put a guard on us? Cuz there’s someone-” Jed felt his words slur as his consciousness slipped away with the dawn.
Jack watched as the gargoyle hit the floor, looking like a pile of rags and building site detritus. Tentatively, he prodded Jed’s body with his foot. Out cold. Poor fool. Not that he could do much, trapped in a basement with him like this. Too bad he hadn’t checked the roof while it was still dark out.
A call to Olivia yielded nothing. Jack looked to the basement door, feeling uneasy. An interior door; no lock. Jack leaned over Jed, and patted him down. I could have sworn he had a sword in here somewhere, though Jack, peering down Jed’s collar. Ah, bingo!
With a quiet noise of triumph, Jack pulled the sword from the bunched rags between Jed’s wings; what might have once been a tailcoat. It was a long rapier, maybe an inch thick, and made of a strange, silvery metal. Jack twirled it experimentally, enjoying the balance.
This is a nice sword, he thought, as he began to jam it under the bottom of the door.
Safe in her room in the vault of Goodwin tower, Olivia pulled on her pyjamas, wondering not for the first time if she was the only vampire with such a daytime habit, and climbed into bed.