The city's council house was a building that had been erected no more than ten years ago, but had done its best to look centuries old on the inside. If Nicolae had known this was where their next council meeting would take place, he would have dressed up a little more. Not for the sake of his companions, but because halfway through the town-car journey, Elias had informed him that they would be meeting with a human diplomat. He hated being left out, and did not hesitate to mope for the rest of the journey, staring out through the blacked-out windows that protected the passengers from the setting sun.
Now, the vampire council had all arranged themselves at a long, polished table decorated with a lace runner that spread from Nicolae's seat at the end, and the empty adjacent chair. Elias was seated two places to the left, with Alistair's podgy figure pressing out against the wooden arms between them. So Nicolae tried to look interested, though the other council members glared at him like parents glaring at their children to behave in public.
The door at the far left of the room opened smoothly, and in strode a man of authority who did his best to calm his heartbeat when he saw his audience. Nicolae had seen him on television, he was pretty sure he led the country - for now, at least - and his Westwood suit was a testament to this. Wrapped around his arm was a beautiful, young woman dressed in a knee-length dress of shimmering green, a halter which choked her with elaborate beads, the fabric slit alluringly down her chest. In the split second that Nicolae regarded her face, her long raven black hair, he felt the recognition that she was both a vampire...and his.
His mouth opened to say something, widening almost as much as his eyes, before she cut him off.
"So sorry we're late, gentlemen," she said smoothly, depositing the human at his seat parallel to Nicolae and making her way down the table, her black stilettos clicking on the tiles. "I was just telling the minister about how I was late because a lycanthrope pup insisted on straightening my hair." Forced laughter rippled through the table, as Silena stopped, standing behind Alistair. With a simple caress on his meaty shoulder, and a seductive slit of her eyes, Alistair hurried to stand, slid out and let her sit between Elias and Nicolae, leaving him ambling embarrassed for a moment before sitting on a stool at the edge.
"What are you doing here, Silena?" Nicolae seethed through his teeth, his fangs sliding down angrily. She only smiled at him.
"Helping you, of course," said Silena, folding her hands over her crossed legs, her dress riding up in such an immodest way that Nicolae felt his stagnant pulse sizzle. "Are you telling me that you could have charmed the minister like that? Don't get ahead of yourself, Nic -,"
"Ehem," said the minister, interrupting. Nicolae resisted the temptation to snap back, and instead sat up proudly.
"Apologies, minister," he said. "I was simply enquiring about your whereabouts. You understand how I wish for us to have no...complications this late in negotitations."
"I was perfectly fine," the minister said curtly, though his eyes softened momentarily, "Silena took awfully good care of me." Silena smiled back, but the minister had become cold once more, his cheekbones shadowed. "I must say, I'm interested to hear what you have to say. You've swayed my associates rather miraculously, they're all on board with this "reveal" as they're calling it. Of course, I'd like to hear it from myself."
The meeting continued for some time, with Nicolae following orders for once, saying what had been suggested. Silena cut in, however, her words controversial and beginning a muted uproar each time she spoke. Nicolae tried to nudge her with his foot under the table a couple of times, but without letting anybody know, she would swiftly kick him back or stab him in the toe with her heel, and continue. To the surprise of the entire council, the minister listened, staring at her with pathetic awe, until the meeting was adjourned, and a messenger arrived minutes later to say that the minister had signed the deal for Britain to join the other seventeen countries agreeing to the reveal.
The council began to head back to the cars under the shadow of early evening, each having congratulated Silena on her efforts. Nicolae watched, waiting for the others to leave until only they and Elias lingered in the lobby, waiting for their car to be brought round. When Alistair had disappeared down the steps, after having eyed Silena up for a couple of lecherous minutes, Nicolae made his move. Striding quickly with his long legs towards her, his arm pushed her by the neck against the far wall, lifting her slightly so that they were eye-to-eye, the nearby wall sconce highlighting the red flecks in her eyes.
"What the hell are you playing at?" he hissed,
Elias hurried, standing between them and glaring at Nicolae. "Stop it, Nic. She helped us tonight, and you know it." His grey eyes were stern, but Nicolae didn't look at him, only at her. He remembered her hanging off of the human like a decoration, dressed like the whores he took off of the street, trying so hard to become a part of his life again.
"He's right," said Silena, her voice choked, her eyes calm, "face it, I'm an asset to you -,"
"You're nothing to me," he said angrily, "nothing but an embarrassment. I did what you wanted, you're living in my home, I don't want anything more to do with you -,"
"Nic -," Elias chastised, and Nicolae's head snapped towards him, his eyes red and his fangs ejected completely.
"Shut up! Just stay out of this. She's mine, nobody else's, understand?"
Elias' eyes narrowed, and he carefully put his hand across the arm that held up Silena. "I'm telling you," he said, his voice dark and frightening, "to stop." Nicolae suddenly felt his muscles had gone slack, and his arm fell without his control. Silena dropped back to the ground, massaging her neck without a sign of worry. She looked down to rearrange her dress, and when she looked up, she was completely different, like she was falling apart and held up by a thread of composure that would last only on her journey across the driveway to the car.
She did so, slamming shut the door and ordering the chauffeur to drive. She looked out the darkened window, at Elias and Nicolae standing in the open doorway with tears in her eyes, becoming smaller as the car pulled away. It took only the departing coldness of her Maker's eyes to make her feel as if she had been torn in two, left to crumble to the ground with nobody to pick her back up.