We'd been in and out of meetings for days now, hardly giving me a chance to pause and think. I'd at least had enough time to myself to see Luca's text. I was glad he was with his friend, and not stuck alone at the flat wondering where I was. I'd stuck to my story. I'd found Luca walking alone and taken him to a hotel. It seemed a reasonably story and no one had reason to question it. The meetings were always about the same thing – the blue moon. I could see everyone getting tired of Vincent and Roderick's persistence. I expected this one to be no different.
I crossed paths with June in the parking lot outside The Masons. It was an old building, used by a lot of different societies. We had a space rented out permanently. The others in the building would never suspect real vampires were using it. I headed upstairs and entered the room. Davis was already there with Peter. I could tell the constant meetings were getting to them both. I suspected there was a lot more eating at Davis though. June sucked in a breath and I followed her line of sight.
“What's an outsider doing here?” I asked calmly. Roderick and Vincent were already sat. Leaned against the wall behind them, looking irritatingly sure of himself, was Gregory Thorn. I don't think anyone had a more appropriate surname than him. I felt worry tug and kept my expression neutral as I sat. June took the seat next to me, sparring Peter. He looked extremely relieved. Clara was the last one to walk in, her eyes clocking Gregory silently. Her eyes narrowed for the splinted second. It wasn't a secret that the two of them didn't get along.
“Gregory is here because he has noticed something of concern,” Vincent said, his voice like sandpaper. Davis said nothing, keeping his face calm. I could hear his heart rate though. Davis knew Gregory had been involved in everything between his kids and Francis.
“What would that be?” Clara asked, annoyance evident in her tone as she sat down. Vincent was a pissant with rules. If any of us had tried to bring in an outsider we'd never hear the end of it.
“Francis is missing,” Vincent said. I kept my posture the same and controlled my facial expression. Inside I froze. He had looked fine when he'd left. I was surprised when none of the meeting had involved him. I assumed he had chosen not to say anything due to pride. It never occurred me he was seriously hurt or worse. Most of his wounds had seemed artificial. If the council find out Luca was involved that was it. The treaty would go. I couldn't see Davis letting us Vincent kill his son. Hell, I couldn't let him.
“William,” Vincent said, interrupting my thoughts. “Is there anything you'd like to tell us?” he asked. I barely concealed a glare as I met his eyes. If he was asking me that meant he knew, or at least suspected.
“Well, “ I began. “I'd happily say we're better off without him causing trouble,” I finished. He narrowed his eyes at the words.
“You're talking about someone I sired,” he said.
“And I'm sure you thought it was good judgement at the time,” I shrugged. I never understood the siring business, and had no intentions to do such a thing ever. I ignored distant memories trying to rise to the surface and looked at Gregory.
“When was the last time you saw him?” I asked.
“About a week ago,” Gregory asked. Damn, that coincided worryingly well with Luca's near-mad encounter. “He told me he was heading to the club last we spoke,” he added.
“Then maybe we should check the club's camera footage,” June suggested dryly. I knew from past clean-ups that there was a camera by the back door. Would it have caught anything? Even if it hadn't, it would show Luca leaving with Francis. That would be enough. I needed to find a way to get to it first.