The moonlight swept across a figure perched on the stone wall of a church like a gargoyle. He allowed smoke to drift from his lips as he glanced down at the watch on his wrist. Almost time.
Dropping his ciggarette to the ground he slipped from his vantage point. Rising to his feet he dusted himself off, straightening the creases from his trench coat. Taking another cigarrette from a case at his belt he lit it and made his way across the graveyard that stretched out before him, whistling as he went.
"Better go speak to the idiot before he goes and does anything else stupid," he thought scratching the back of his head with a gloved hand. "Why can't anything happen when it's ready to? Everything in it's own good time ... but no he had to go and get involved with the wrong crowd."
He had great things planned for this one. He finally had an apprentice in the making and his ward was going to get himself killed or worse before he coud even say hello.
"No such thing as a good time ... only a series of opportunities leading to a bigger series of consequences."
A voice came from behind him. It was cool, old and distinctly female.
"I hope you aren't going to do what I think you are Chase. He's out of your reach now."
He spun round, annoyed at his reaction. It wasn't as if he hadn't been half shocked by her a million times before. Steadying his racing heart he gave his new companion a wry smile.
"Elizabeth. It's always a pleasure to be scared out of my skin by you. You know a polite cough or something would be very welcome. Or you could just wait till I come looking for you for a change."
The twenty year old girl chuckled. She stuffed her hands into into the pockets of a pair of dirty, ripped denims and leaned back casually against a tree.
"You know they're like vermin right? Your little apprentice is about to get bitten by something a lot bigger than a rat and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. You've waited a long time now, you can wait a little longer."
Chase chuckled shaking his head his friend was several hundred years younger than him but for some reason had a way of talking to him like she was his mother.
"Well time is one thing you know all about. You could just undo this little problem for me and let me get on eith my work." He siged sucking heavily on the fag dangling from between his fingers. "Something tells me that, that isn't going to happen though is it?"
Elizabeth shot him a mock glare before giggling.
"You know the answer to that before even asking it. Two hundred years and your still asking me the same question, and the response is still the same. I watch time, I don't play with it. Just remember that before you go doing anything stupid. Talking about time, it's time I left. Remember, we don't get involved with them. Just think before you act for a change."
Tapping her temple she smiled and stepping behind the tree dissappeared.
He siged, rolling his eyes. Fine. He'd wait, but only until he knew the time was right to act. He chuckled.
"There's that word again ..."
Smiling to himself he wandered out of the graveyard whistling the same eerie tune that he just couldn't shake from his mind. The air became hazy and he vanished leaving nothing but a smoldering cigarette but on the moist grass where he had been standing.
"You did what?!"
Eldreth cursed under her breath. The last thing she needed now was a lecture.
"Yes I know Bree but ..."
"But you thought you'd break your cover, go against the Council's explicit orders and nearly get yourself killed in the process?"
"I would have been fine if he hadn't shown up. I would have had him!"
"Don't go blaming the human. You shouldn't have been there alone in the first place!"
Her sister sighed heavily.
"He may have actually saved your hide. You're right though, the poor little mortal may have just put himself in grave danger, and he certainly hasn't helped you either."
Eldreth could feel the anger boiling in her stomach.
"Why do you always defend them?! They're stupid cattle! Why should I even care what happens to him?"
The voice that came back was cool and to the point.
"Because they don't know any better and because we need them. If you could just get over your ego for five seconds maybe you'd see that he probably saved your life. Well there's nothing we can do about it now. The damage is already done. I'll keep an eye on the human, if I can find him. You go after Janus and hope he isn't already rallying a small army. We'll just have to deal with the council later."
"But we need to be together! Leave the human. He's made his own fate ..."
She realised that she was talking to herself. The line was dead. Doing everything she could not to smash her cell phone into a thousand pieces she straightened and went off to re-trace Janus' scent.
"I hope i'm not too late ... or there will be hell to pay."
Breaking into a run she flashed out of the alley. She still had several hours until sunrise. She just hoped that would be enough.