More than ever, Nicolae sensed keen ears around him, those of the councilmen so eager to hear the inside knowledge of his plans. He would make sure this would never happen, of course. He was king, and he would make sure it would remain so for many more years. Or at least long enough to see every member of the council staked and beheaded, by human hands or his own he really didn't mind.
Cautious of spies, he had called Silena and, to his misfortune, Tymildra down into his most secret hiding place: Floor 0.5. Sky Valley had old functioning lifts that ran on mechanics in case electricity failed, and there were three concealed in the corner of the centre. Forcing open the door which did not close back, Nicolae stepped inside the compartment which smelt strongly of blood, owing to the huge red stain on the mirror on the black wall. It seemed some residents got off on the "cornered-and-defenceless" sort of kill. He had no taste for it, personally. He pressed the button which would take him down to the basement and soon saw the entrance to the floor, a blown hole between the floors leading to a storage room, one that only he - and now two others - knew of. Pressing the 'STOP' button, the lift jolted and was still, allowing him to climb through, where Silena and the ancient were already waiting.
Tymildra was sat up on a pile of crates that almost reached the ceiling, and Silena was leant against a rocking horse meant for window display. She was dressed for a mission, just as he had requested, in clothes out of her birth era. A leather jacket with brass buttons, a loose and printed shirt, and to his horror, jeans. However, he had to admit, she looked beautiful - and she'd certainly blend in with the humans.
"You know why I want you here and what I want to happen," he said immediately on entering, straightening proudly. "A human escaped us a few days ago, and when Elias assured me it would be dealt with, he disappeared. I'm afraid that he's swanned off and gone to help her, along with a couple djinns that I'm officially labelling as rogues,"
"My brother always did have a soft spot for human girls," Tymildra smiled. "Like me...only I prefer the soft spot in their necks." Her lip curled up and flirtatiously revealed one of her fangs.
Ignoring her, Nicolae turned to Silena. "You know why you're here. You need to bring them all back." His voice was clipped and professional, and it stung Silena in the pit of her stomach.
"Not kill them?" she asked. "I could do it. Fire is hardly an issue - not for me, and one human girl is -,"
"What about Elias?" asked Tymildra softly. "You presume to be able to take on an ancient?"
Silena pursed her lips with annoyance. "It would be difficult -,"
"It would be suicide, fledgling. Your arrogance gets away from you." Anger burned in her eyes. As much as she might dislike her brother, it was clear that to undermine the ancients was an unforgivable offence.
"She is no fledgling," said Nicolae sharply. "But I am well aware that Elias will not want to return, especially if he has indeed felt sympathy for the group." His voice softened inquiringly. "You told me once that Elias had a weakness for blood. Is that true?"
"Well, it isn't a lie, for sure. Haven't you noticed it before? I doubt he's ever wanted to feed with you, and he has refused Making for a very long time. Elias is probably the only one of us I can say probably wishes he wasn't what he is, despite all the powers granted to him,"
"In that case," said Nicolae, his eyes on his vampyre, "take a blood bag from storage to distract him -,"
"I'm very capable of drawing my own blood, Nic," retorted Silena, gesturing to her sharp, colourful manicure. "You may rely on me. My only question is, what do you intend to do with the human, and why not kill her on the spot?"
"Because Elias would never forgive me," he said simply. "Unnecessary bloodshed, and I'm not willing to have an ancient turned against me. It's been hard enough getting the rest of them to cooperate," he and Tymildra watched each other for a dangerous moment, each of them carefully laying a card on the table one at a time. "If we can't kill her, then she'll return here and live amongst us, at least until the reveal. She may go free then...of course, if there was to be an...accident, God forbid, then we would simply have to accept that, wouldn't we?" He looked at Silena again and she nodded with understanding. She had been given not just one mission today, but two.
"Where can we find them?" she asked, looking at Tymildra, who then hopped down from the crates, landing delicately on her feet.
"There's a safehouse on Hammerbrook Street, not far off the town centre. All ancients know of it. I was allowed to use it if I desired, but it's turned out to be much more interesting around here." Silena nodded, and turned to leave immediately, but Tymildra added, "fledgling. There are four of them, and you don't seem one bit afraid. You even claim as if you're immune to fire. I wonder if you'll tell me more of yourself and your mysteries one day?"
Silena turned to her, one foot already in the lift, tying her dark hair in a high ponytail in preparation for action. In a soft, un-betraying voice she answered, "some of the mysteries are not mine to tell." She glanced at her Maker with a sad smile, kickstarted the lift into motion and departed from their sights.