My search remained fruitless for the rest of the day. My eyes were growing heavy with fatigue, and I let out a determined yawn. I made my way out of the study, and descended the stairs to see how Alistair was getting on. He was tapping away busily at his computer, transfixed on the task at hand. I had felt somewhat guilty since his return from Avalon. He had expected much more from our relationship, yet with the albeit convenient appearance of Kurtis, he had been sidelined. He had not commented on his time in Avalon a great deal, he merely carried on with his work. His eyes were glazed, and he was stifling a yawn.
“Would you like some coffee?” He jumped a little, shocked by the sudden sound of my voice.
“Yes, lovely. So Lara, how’s the search going? I’m still trying to crack this blasted encoding, security at the British museum has certainly improved since my last hack.”
“Good work anyway, I’m sure you will find the way through. I’ll just go and make the coffee.”
Alistair blushed a little at this, I rarely praised him, and felt I should start.
“It’s half ten, I’ll let the old man sleep. Back in a bit.”
He returned to his keyboard, busy as ever, almost as if the conversation had never happened. I made my way to the kitchen, and soon the kettle began to boil. I poured the water, and arranged both cups (I decided on coffee too) on a tray. I was just about to lift it, when I heard some commotion, and then a latch click. It was coming from the window. Instinctively, I withdrew a knife from the draw, and remained poised. Soon enough, muffled footsteps echoed from the marble floor. I gripped the knife tighter. Soon the perpetrator was closed, I could hear them breathing. I quickly darted round, ready to finish them off. Shockingly, it was Kurtis who met my gaze. My heart leapt.
“Kurtis! What the hell are you doing, creeping around like that! I might have stabbed you.”
“Sorry Lara, I had to be quiet. We’ve got an unexpected guest that I’ve ‘taken care of’ for now. I was just being quiet in case anyone else was around.”
“Where are they?”
“He’s up in our bedroom, tied to the chair.”
“Well, I’ve got a few words to say to him about common courtesy. Let’s go.”
We hurried upstairs, and I slammed open the bedroom door, expecting to give him a fright. The room was surprisingly cold, and the window was flung open. Kurtis seethed with anger, gritting his teeth, and pointed to the empty chair.
“He’s escaped, damnit!”
“Don’t worry Kurtis, any coward isn’t worth our time. Can you describe him?”
“He looks European, I’d put a bet on him being Russian from his accent.”
“He spoke to you?”
“Not intentionally. I was struggling to sleep, when suddenly I heard him muttering about your fate as he stood in the window. Of course I dealt with him immediately. His looked was contrived, he had on leather trousers and a black vest, and he was completely bald. Oh, and he had a tattoo of ‘infinity’ on his bicep, in case that’s anything important.”
“Thanks Kurtis. I don’t care that he’s gone, I’m sure we’ll meet again at some point. I’m just happy he didn’t hurt you.” I gently kissed his lips. Suddenly Alistair emerged in the doorway.
“Lara, do you know how to make coffee?”
“Certainly, we’ve just been held up slightly. You aren’t going to believe this.”
“My God, there was an intruder!? I always miss the fun.” Alistair smiled, excited.
“Yes, Kurtis dealt with him, but he escaped. Never mind that now, how’s the CCTV download going?”
“Well, I left it at ninety five percent...”
A bleep sounded from the computer.
“Ah, right on cue.”
After a few more rapid taps, a video appeared. Alistair hurriedly set it to full screen.
It featured the hall where the cup was kept. There were a few minutes of silence, and Alistair pressed fast forward. Then, at 03:17, a figure in black appeared. It was a man, I could tell from his gait. He was clad in a balaclava and mask, yet his arms were bare. In the dark it was hard to see, and through the eerie night vision, not much detail could be seen. After he had taken the cup, he grabbed his bicep and began to talk. We all found this odd, so Alistair rewinded the footage and paused, frantically enlarging. A faint symbol could be found on his bicep. Kurtis sat forward in anticipation. After a few colour and lighting edits, it was clear.
The man also had an infinity tattoo.