Coup D'EtatMature

That night, with the ground floor inhabitants sleeping soundly - or the close equivalent - Silena made her way down into the underground parking lot as she had weeks before, though now a "friend" rather than a suspect. Through Lilian, the device he thought most reliable, Kaito had called her to a meeting of the revolution, this time a smaller gathering of the most important, rather than the "foot soldiers" that would provide nothing more than a distraction.

Now that Nicolae and the council knew of the plans, there was more expectation weighing on her shoulders, and Silena hated being ordered around by the councilmen. Nicolae was bad enough, mostly because when it was what he really wanted, she couldn't physically disobey, and the contempt in the voices of the likes of Vralek and McLachin made the little blood in her veins boil. They didn't believe she could succeed, not a woman, and not one they thought had cuddled up so closely with the enemy. Approaching the husk of an old Mercedes, Silena decided she would revel in proving them wrong.

She could see Kaito in the driver's seat through the adjacent window, and spotting her, he leant across and pushed open the passenger door, sitting rigid as she slipped in beside him. Silena remembered when the first automobiles had been unveiled. She and Nicolae had been in Chicago, and had been the cause of those treasured first automobiles being wrapped around lampposts. Once, the inside of the sleek Mercedes - its silver paint as scratched as a cat owner - had been wrapped in dark, untarnished leather, and now it was burnt, faded and threadbare. Silena sensed that there were two people sitting in the back seat, and glancing she saw that it was a man and a woman, neither looking pleased to be joined by a vampyre.

          "So?" asked Kaito expectantly, his glowing yellow eyes watching her sidelong. His hands were tensed on the steering wheel, clearly still uncomfortable with collaborating with her. "Do you have it?"

Silena paused, remembering Nicolae's script. "No," she answered calmly,

Kaito's head snapped towards her, and behind her, Silena heard the male say "as I thought" under his breath. She met Kaito's accusative glare evenly. "Why not?" he demanded,

          "I don't know whether it's escaped your notice or not, but I've spent a lot of time around the council members and our beloved king. My scent is known to them, my head would be rolling off my shoulders before I could even attempt to take the weapon,"

          "We are dedicated to our cause - dedicated enough to die - why can you not say the same?" spat the man. By his scent and manner, Silena had already been able to deduce what and who he was. A lycanthrope who everybody called Norman. He was a tall, dark skinned man with white claw scars running over his bald head and a chest like concrete. He also happened to be Lilian's father, and the lycan's elected leader. Trying not to smile, Silena wondered what he would think if he knew she had been feeding from his daughter (not that the lycan girl knew it, of course.)

Twisting her head towards him, her eyes reddening dangerously, she said, "I'm a vampyre, sir. I'm rather used to not dying," 

          "We must concentrate on the matter at hand," said the woman. She, on the other hand, was far more difficult to work out. Her short hair barely covered her slender, pointed ears, and if anything, she looked like an overgrown pixie. All of her other features were pinpoint, and there was a lightness in her voice as if every word was carefully selected.

          "Mary Ann's right," said Kaito. "Do you know where it is?"

          "Of course I do," Silena nodded. "On his person when he is awake. It's his moonstone earring -," the three car occupants cursed under their breaths, furious with themselves, "oh - did none of you figure it out? How disappointing -,"

          "Get to the point," Norman snapped,

Her jaw clenched, feeling her fangs slide out, but she continued. "From the information I've gathered, from the witches in lingerie, that is, the enchantment that makes it impossible for you to transform weakens the further it is from the one who created it -,"

          "Wait, Nicolae is a warlock?" asked Kaito,

          "Word has it he made a great many skills in his human life," she lied. She knew them all, every talent, every mannerism, and she spent most of her time wishing that she didn't. It made it doubly hard to consider letting him go. "Sorcery probably doesn't even scratch the surface. Anyway, asleep Nicolae would be practically catatonic, so the weapon's protected in a chest on his bedside. According to the witches, you wouldn't need to try to destroy it, only keep it away from him long enough, and the magic would fade."

          "If the weapon is at his bedside, why do we not kill him then and there?" asked Norman, looking at Kaito,

          "No..." he murmured, "it won't be that easy. I'm going to be the one to kill him, and when I do, I want to see the look in his eyes of realising everything he's built has turned to dust." Slowly, Silena saw Kaito's hands elongate into claws around the steering wheel, his body quivering with rage. "I want this weapon gone and our people rising around him with him nowhere to run. And then, when he realises he's truly alone, I'll be his only companion at the end of his life."

She turned and saw Mary Ann - grinning at him, delighted at his determination, and Norman sat proudly and with a look of hope in his eyes. For all they knew, it would work, and their people would be free, and with that thought, Silena almost felt guilty for what she knew would come next.

The End

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