Chapter 4 (Part II)
"Hello?" called a groggy voice on the other side. "Who is it?"
"Hello? KC? I'm Evey Grant. Could I talk to you for a moment?"
There was some muffled grumbling as he unlocked the door, cracking it open just enough to peered out. The man certainly matched the picture Jared had given her, although it looked like the Russian had taken some time to trim his hair and beard. He stared at Evey with his eyes narrowed.
"What do you want?"
"Could I come in? I don't want anyone to see us in the hall."
Her eyes darted down. She didn't think there would be any cruenti wandering around in the middle of the day, but one never knew. It was almost 3:30pm.
"Look, miss," he growled. "If you're selling Bibles, I don't need any. You can tell me what you want from the hallway, and if it's important enough, then I'll let you in."
Evey smiled. She kind of liked him. He wasn't a pushover.
"I'm here to help you, KC. I want to get you into protective custody. I heard about what happened, and I want to help. You and I know there are things after you, and I want to get you someplace safe. If I found you here, they can. You need someone who can protect you."
He looked at her with some skepticism, frowning.
"I have all the protection I need here. Death won't cross the threshold. Not with my protections here."
"Death may not be the only thing you need to be worried about. Why does Death hunt you?"
Maybe KC was schizophrenic, but she would listen. She'd seen Death first hand the night before. Well, didn't see, but she knew he was there, thanks to the good doctor.
"How should I know why Death hunts me?" he shouted at her. "I don't let him around long enough to ask! Go away! You'll just attract him!"
He started to shut the door. Evey stopped the door with a small measure of her town telekinesis along with her strength.
"Please, you have to listen, KC. I want to help you, but there are things other than Death that may hunt you, and your protections won't guard against it. Let me help. I know someone who can protect you."
The Russian's face softened ever so slightly, almost in resignation. He opened the door further.
"Since you won't leave, I'll give you ten minutes. Just don't mess with any of the wards on the floor, and leave the candles alone. I have a hard enough time keeping Sasha from knocking them over."
Evey smiled and nodded, entering the room. She gave it a quick once over, looking for any exits other than the front door where they could make a quick getaway if need be. Yeah, she was paranoid. She had good reason to be.
The only other exit seemed to be a tiny window over the sofa, and its small sill was covered in candles. In the middle of the floor was a cot, surrounded by and elaborate arcane circle. The Russian sat down on this cot as his cat came in from another room and began rubbing up against Evey's legs.
"Well, start talking."
"I'm a normal person with special gifts, KC. I can tell when there's a vampire nearby, a demon or an angel. The Death that you fear is probably some sort of angel of death that reaps the souls of those who are scheduled to die. But something is off about one of them. That is probably the Death you fear and flee. It's hunting you, but I don't think you're supposed to die. Which means, it's doing something else, not its job. I have a feeling a vampire is involved in this, and even if your arcane circles and candles keep Death at bay, it may not keep the vampires. I know someone who can protect you from the vampires, and you can do the exact same thing with your circles and candles there."
Evey glanced at Sasha.
"I'm sure he wouldn't mind Sasha either."
The cat purred, weaving around Evey's legs. The Russian thought about her words, furrowing his brows in concentration.
"How can I be sure I can trust you?" he asked. "For all I know, you could be as... as dangerous as that quack doctor I used to see!"
Evey decided it was probably safer to play dumb. It would be too hard to explain how the quack doctor wasn't really... well, no. He was a quack doctor, wasn't he?
"Quack doctor? Do you mean the demon Dr. Setheh?"
He jumped to his feet, pointing a shaky finger at Evey.
"You know him? You know what he is and you still came here? What if he followed you?! You could have led that thing right to my doorstep!"
She shook her head, hands up in the air.
"I was trying to find you, of course I had to talk to him. He's the one who reported you missing. Do you even know why he's a demon? He's a demon because he was an angel of death who saved more lives than he took. He got demoted for being merciful."
She blinked and furrowed her brow.
"Why would he follow me? Only I... and probably some vampires, know where you live right now. Which is why I have to get you some place where you'll be safer than here."
"Vampires, hmph!" he scoffed, sitting back down on his cot. "They pay pretty well for a pint from your veins. Makes it so I can afford to live indoors."
Sasha pawed at Evey's leg, mewing for attention. Evey crouched down and petted the lovely cat. She cooed at her gently.
"Yeah, but if a vampire wants you dead, then what?"
"Being part of a powerful one's herd offers plenty of protection, thank you," he contested, folding his arms. "Unless you've got anything more than that, you aren't changing my mind."
She looked up at him.
Her voice was quiet.
"Not that his name means anything in human society, but he's an elder adviser: Julian Kent."
He looked down at Sasha.
"My cat seems to like you."
"I like your cat. Which elder does Julian Kent advise? I just want to make sure you're safe. If I feel like you're just as safe here than in protective custody then I'll leave you alone, KC."
He considered this compromise, then nodded.
"As far as I know, he advises all of them. He's the official keeper of all the records and laws for the vampires here, and much favored by many of the more powerful ones."
"All of them?"
She'd have to ask Cei then.
"What does he look like?"
Once she had a description, she could corroborate it with Cei, so she was on the look out for him. Who knows? Maybe the description he gave her would match something much worse.
Like Cei's pater.
There was honest worry stretched out for him to see on Evey's face.
"Well, he's got straight, light brown hair, bit longish, narrow-like eyes (I think they're blue...) and wears glasses. Fancies himself a scientist of sorts. Lives in a warehouse a couple blocks down, if you want the address."
He made a clicking sound with his tongue and Sasha hopped up onto the cot and into his lap.
"He's a bit obsessive with his organization, though. Likes things set up just a certain way."
Evey memorized what he'd told her, but took out a pad and pen anyway to jot it down.
"I'd like the address, please. I probably won't pay him a visit or anything. I don't want to get you in trouble. I just want to find out who he is."
She looked up at him.
"The reason why is that there's a vampire out there known for his cruelty. I just want to make sure that Julian Kent isn't an alias for him. That way I will know for sure that you're safe."
"Sure, sure," he grumbled, giving her the address while he scratched his cat behind its ears. "Don't be surprised if he tells you something he couldn't possibly know. He specializes in knowing things."
That sounded vaguely like Cei.
"Thanks for the tip. Oh, and be careful, okay? I know you'd be surprised, but there are people worried about you."
"Sure, sure," he grumbled again. "Just close the door on your way out."
He leaned back onto his cot and rolled on his side, ready to go back to sleep. Evey shrugged and left the room, making sure the door was closed behind her. She wanted to make sure it was locked before she left, so she checked to see if it locked behind her. The loud click and the knob not turning was indication enough. Hopefully, between the lock and his wards, Kostenka would be safe for the time being.
Satisfied, Evey carefully made her way back out into the street and to her car. She could try Julian Kent, but she wanted to double check with Cei first. She didn't know that vampire, and the last thing she needed was to run into the wrong one. It didn't matter if it was the middle of the day.
Better safe than sorry.
First research. Then visiting. Maybe she should swing by the good doctor and let him know. Evey walked briskly to her car, got in, and headed in the direction of Jared's office. She had the number, but first thing she'd done this morning was get the address. The more she knew about her clients, the better.
It would stop them from dying on her, she hoped.
She parked the car once she got to the building, and headed straight for his office.
The lobby of the building smelled like bleach, and the walls were just as white. Like any doctor's office lobby, it had that uncomfortably sterile feeling.
"Hi, welcome to the West End Clinic," the secretary at the front desk greeted her. "Do you have an appointment?"
"No," Evey said. "Just tell Dr. Setheh Evey Grant is here and she has some information on one of his former patients."
The secretary nodded.
"I'll page him for you. If you'll just have a seat in the waiting area, he should be right out."
She gestured towards the couches. At least they looked comfortable. Evey settled in, wishing she had a cup of coffee. It had been an eventful couple of days and they were starting to wear her out a little. She yawned. She could wait. That was part of the job. Fortunately, the secretary had been correct when she had said he would be right out, and the doctor made his appearance a few minutes later.
"Evey?" he called, standing in the doorway leading to the back. "Will you join me in my office?"
Evey smiled and stood, stifling another yawn that came, and followed him into his office. She didn't know if she should be surprised or not that he wasn't with a patient at the moment.
"Hello, Jared," she said once the door was closed and they were safe inside his office. He folded up his cane and placed in on his desk as he sat down behind it. The office was quite small, but was much cozier than the front waiting area (and didn't smell like bleach either). There were a couple of armchairs and a recliner, each with a few throw pillows, and a small bookshelf lined with various titles in Braille.
"You sound tired. Did you get enough sleep last night?"
Evey helped herself to the recliner, flopped down and got comfortable.
"Nope. I never sleep much, hence the wonderful addiction to coffee."
Cut to the chase, she thought.
"I found Kostenka. Cei managed to get me an address for him, I think I know through who, but I'm still guessing."
"You did?" Jared asked, sounding incredibly relieved. "So he's still alive then? That's good to hear. Oh, there is a coffee maker in the corner, if you want to make some for yourself. Many of my patients drink coffee during their sessions."
The call of coffee was great, but the recliner was also great. Sighing, she got up. Coffee had a powerful pull, as she made the coffee, she told Jared about her encounter with Kostenka. His fears, his snappishness, the wonderful cat, the symbols and candles.
"He's basically cattle for this Julian Kent who gives him money for blood."
Evey shivered and took a sip of her coffee before returning to the recliner.
"I don't know who he is, but I intend to find out and make sure he's no threat to Kostenka."
She glanced over at Jared.
"If you want, I can describe to you what the arcane circles look like and you can tell me whether or not they'd warn again Charon."
Jared laughed, tapping the edge of his sunglasses.
"Little good a description would do me. I wouldn't know what the symbol looked like in the first place."
"Well, it's a ward for 'Death' so I thought that maybe you would've come across something like that before your sight was taken away."
She shrugged, and then looked at him curiously.
"Have you always been blind?"
The doctor lowered his head as he nodded slowly. Before he spoke, he hesitantly removed his glasses, lifting his head so Evey could see for herself.
"As Death, I am supposed to be impartial. Being blind to human differences was meant to make my job easier."
"It didn't," she breathed, looking at the face that had no place for eyes. She felt a chill go through her and then an incredible amount of understanding and pity. She couldn't imagine the God she had been taught as a good and kind god, would be in fact so cruel to his own creations. She shook her head.
"I'm sorry, Jared. I didn't know. Well, supposedly he has wards to protect himself against Death. I assume Charon must be after him?"
"Either Charon or one of the other Death angels," Jared said, returning his sunglasses to his face. "It is most likely Charon though, since it was the one present at the crash yesterday."
He took a deep breath and carefully popped his fingers.
"Wards work well against demons, but they aren't as effective against angels. If he has created one properly, it will mask his presence, but it won't stop Charon if it can locate him some other way."
Not good, Evey thought.
"Well, I can give you the address if you want to check on him yourself. He's still paranoid about you, and I don't know if he'll be better about it now. For now, he seems safe. I'm going to talk to Cei first about this Julian Kent. See if there's anything more she can tell me."
She finished off her coffee.
"Oh, and by the way, you're going to love this."
She updated him on the crash of the day before, letting him know who died in it. The filius of Jesse Taylor and a client of hers. Jared listened intently, nodding every now again. When Evey finished, he opened one of his desk drawers and began searching for something.
"That's rather unusual, but not entirely unlikely, given how many filii Jesse has. I've had a few meetings with him. No doubt this news will upset him greatly."
He pulled a folder from one of the drawers.
"Yes, here it is. Normally, I wouldn't share this information, but I not you won't abuse it. This is Jesse's patient file. He came to speak with me when his brother vanished. Later, we found that he had been killed, given the Black Rose."
Jared smiled a little as he held the folder out to her.
"And before you ask, it's written in normal type. I may be blind, but much of my handicap is compensated by my divine abilities."
Evey blinked up at him.
"Jesse Taylor has a brother?" She took the folder carefully. She wasn't going to look at it now, no matter how much her curiosity suddenly peaked. She put it carefully in her bag.
"Had," the doctor corrected. "Lucius Taylor, although I never personally met him."
Evey was quiet for a long moment, remembering Cei's premonition about brothers. Not that Jesse or Lucius Taylor had anything to do with it, but it was the first cruentus she'd heard with a brother who also was one.
She dared the question. Why not? It couldn't hurt.
"Were they twins?"
Her voice was soft. Jared shook his head with a shrug.
"I couldn't say. Jesse never said anything that would suggest whether they were or not, and as I said before, I never met Lucius. I do know they were changed at the same time, and by the same cruentus, though Jesse was reluctant to discuss it much. You'll find what he did say in the folder."
Evey nodded. She would go over every page until she was certain he and his brother weren't twins.
But then, she could always ask him. Will had mentioned something about going to see him. She wondered if it would be wise to mention Lucius at all. If Jesse had only spoken of him to Jared... Well, she didn't want to get the doctor in any trouble. Best she figure it out for herself.
She would ask Will and Cei if they knew about Lucius. It was a good start. And the folder.
She stood and walked over to him.
"I appreciate your help. I'll let you know what I find out about Julian Kent."
"That would be nice," the doctor said, rising. "If there is anything else I can help you with, don't hesitate to call."
"I won't. Is there anything else you wanted to know about Kostenka? I found him for you, he seems safe for the moment, but I really don't know what is after him."
Jared unfolded his cane and walked with her towards the door.
"As long as I know where I can find him if he gets into trouble, I am comforted. How should I send payment for your services?"
"I don't know, which would be easiest for you? Can you write a personal check?"
"Yes, but I'm afraid my typewriter is being repaired at the moment. Theoretically, I could write it by hand, but it would make some people who know I'm blind a bit suspicious."
"Could you have your secretary PayPal the fee to Davidson PI?"
She rolled her eyes.
"I set up the account when I got hired. If it wasn't for me Davidson would still be only taking cash payments."
Jared laughed, opening the door for her.
"That I can easily do from my computer at home. Send me the bill via email. I gave you my card, right?"
"Yes, you did. I will the moment I get back to the office. I'll catch you later, Jared."
She gave him a quick hug. She really had to wonder about the state of the world. Having a demon for a friend was something she never would've thought in a million years. He seemed a little startled by her embrace, but smiled gently after a moment, wrapping his free hand around her shoulder before she released him.
"Take care of yourself, Evey. Goodbye."
"Take care," Evey said and left. She headed back to the office, sent Jared the email, and took herself off to the back room. There she took out Mr. Drecks's book and the folder of Jesse Taylor's conversations with Jared.
"Let's start," she told herself and began to look through the folder.
Jesse's profile was the first page, and some of the information was obviously fabricated (or at least obvious if you knew he wasn't human). Most of the dialogue seemed to indicate that he had gone through a bout of serious depression after he discovered the murder of his brother, whom he referred to as Luke. Like Jared had said, there was no indication of whether or not the two men were twins, but there was an interesting detail when Jesse was asked about the vampire who had created him.
According to these papers, her name was Carmilla, and neither he nor his brother had seen her since the middle ages. Evey searched for anything else on Carmilla, but he said nothing more. The depression was honest enough, but she wondered why he brought up his mater. They were made together, clearly they were close. Did he suspect her? Or did he just wish she had been there so he could've had her support when his brother died?
She committed the files to memory, determined to do a search on Carmilla and find out what she could about the mater of one of the oldest vampires.
She turned to the book. Cei had said it was nothing very important, but there could be something hidden in it, something worth killing for.
Evey put the files away and took up the book, searching through it, reading it, checking every page for scribbles, notes, and the inside of the cover to see if anything was hidden there. The parts she skimmed read like a college professor ramblings about his theorem and how fantastic, revolutionary, and important it was, despite having no real substance, but when she check the covers, she noticed that a corner of the back was loose, and looked like it could easily be peeled back. There was a bit of a bump underneath the paper.
Excitement surged through Evey and she carefully pulled back the corner, not wanting to damage whatever was hidden. A folded piece of paper fell out. On a corner that was visible was scrawled, in neat handwriting:
Mea matris carae, Lucius
Excitement soared through Evey. A note from Lucius to his mother! Or mater, probably. Evey calmed her trembling hands, and carefully opened the note to see what was written.
But instead of a note, she found a beautifully rendered charcoal drawing of a young, dark-haired woman. The curve of her chin was smooth and elegant, like a doll's, and her curls framed her face like the drooping branches of a willow. She stared coldly from the paper up at Evey.
Evey froze. Her hands shook as she reached up to touch the curls that fell about her own face. She dropped the paper and pushed away from the table. Evey scrambled for her bag, dumping everything out of it, her chest heaving with her gasping breaths. She took up her wallet and tore it open, pulling out the strip of images.
Her father, her stepmother and... She let out a choked sound. The image of her father, her mother and herself as a child stared up at her. A hand reached up for the paper, and she held the image of Carmilla beside the image of her mother.
Two dark-haired woman, the curve of their chins smooth and elegant, like porcelain, like a doll, gentle dark curls framing the perfect, flawless face... and the cold, sharp, elegant look in her eyes.
Evey dropped both and moved to the side, her head bowed as she held herself up. She hyperventilated, trying to pull through the shock, the fear and the horror. Oh... Oh god.
Evey didn't leave the room until a good hour later. Everything was away. She was deathly pale, almost sickly looking, but she could walk and talk and think. She headed out to Jezz.
"Tell Davidson I don't feel well. I'm calling it a day. We've got a payment from the doctor coming in, so that should satisfy him."
Worry knitted over Jezz's face.
"Evey, are you okay?"
"Yeah. I... I just don't feel good. I'll see you later, okay?"
Jezz nodded and Evey was grateful the girl didn't push.
As far as Evey was concerned it was a miracle she got home. She took off her clothes as she headed to her room, keeping only the bag with her. She dropped it by her bed and collapsed, weeping into the pillow until she passed out. Persistent knocking on her apartment door eventually woke her.
"Evey?" Will called to her. "Evey, are you home yet?"
Evey dragged herself out of bed. She grabbed a robe, but barely tied it. It hung off one of her shoulders, open and gapping down to her hips where it was loosely tied. The lacy underwear she had put on in anticipation of the date later that night was visible for any to see. It was a creamy off white and delicate. It was her second sexiest piece of under garments. The loose knot of the robe hung beneath her belly button, and like the top part, the bottom half beneath the tie lay open revealing her hips, her legs and her underwear.
She really just didn't notice, and if she had, she didn't care. She was groggy from the sleep of emotional and physical exhaustion. She unlocked the two bolts on the door, took off the chain and swung it open. Seeing Will woke her up a little more, and she felt her eyes sting. Thank God he was here. She moved back to let him in.
"Are you alright?" he asked as soon as he saw, even as his face flushed and he tried not to stare. Will was worried with how worn out she looked, but it was really hard to stay completely focused when she was dressed like that.
At least neither Cei nor Jon was there to make a comment. That would have made it worse.
Evey closed the door once he was inside, locked it, and then leaned against it. She didn't bother to cover up. She still hadn't noticed.
"No. But I feel better now that you're here."
She straightened and walked passed him, brushing by him as she headed to the kitchen to make some coffee.
"It was a... productive day," she said quietly. She went through the familiar motions of making coffee and pushed the pot on. She turned back to him, leaning against the counter. Evey wanted to hug him, find comfort in him, cry, scream, tell him everything, but... she couldn't find the strength. She just looked at him, her brown eyes searching his face for... for something. Something to give her the hint that she could seek his comfort.
Will was trying not to look at her, knowing he would be able to stop himself from staring at the wrong places if he did, but that just made him notice the rest of her clothes leading up to the bedroom. Keeping his voice as level as he could, he managed to look back at her.
Evey noticed that he wouldn't look at her and followed his eyes. She saw her clothes and remembered, finally, her state of undress. The look in his eyes when he looked back at her, and the hitch in his voice both stimulated and relaxed her. She didn't feel so alien anymore.
She smiled at him, straightened, and then pressed against him. She wrapped her arms around him, laying her head on his chest, seeking his warmth. The coffeepot hissed behind her.
She didn't want to tell him. Not yet. He'd want more information, and right now she just wanted him to hold her.
"Productive enough to wear me out emotionally and physically," she said softly against his chest. "I left work early, dragged myself in here, and then passed out."
Her arms tightened around him for a moment.
"Thank you for coming."
"To be honest, I'm really trying not to," Will told her with a slight laugh. "I didn't bring a change of clothes."
It took Evey a moment and then a low chuckle burst free, and after a moment, a full laugh, releasing all the built up tension. She held onto his arms as she laughed, thrilled. She felt like she could actually enjoy the evening again, despite the revelations of the day. What was it about this man that made her feel so good?
Evey felt sexy. God, she hadn't felt sexy in years. Cheeks flushed and eyes alight again from her laughter she looked up at him with a wicked smile.
"Can't have that happening just yet, can we?"
Her smile turned into a grin, and she righted her robe so she was covered up. The robe was still short, most of her legs were still clearly visible, but her underwear, at least was covered for the moment. She leaned up to whisper against his lips.
"At least you have a nice vision in your head. You'll know what I'm wearing under my clothes all night."
She brushed her lips over his.
"Actually, I'm trying to picture what's under that."
He leaned into her taking her offer for a kiss. The moment his lips pressed against hers he moaned and deepened the kiss. He parted her lips with his tongue, one of his hands tangling into her hair, holding her head in place, and caressed her mouth with his own. It was hot and electrifying, and when he pulled his lips free from hers he was breathing hard.
Evey's knees were weak. She held onto him, gripping onto his arms for support, her own breaths ragged. The man was just too damn sexy. She looked up at him, her lips swollen from that kiss and her cheeks flushed. How was she going to keep her hands off of him?
Her body shivered along his. Oh, boy. She wanted him so very bad right now, and there really wasn't much between them was there?
Her coffee machine let out a beeping noise, indicating the coffee was done. Evey tossed it a glare.
"Wow, I beat the coffee out for your affection," Will said jokingly as he watched her leer at the machine. "If that's your good coffee, then this is even more of a victory."
Evey looked back at him and grinned.
"It's always the good coffee. And yes, count it among your victories, sir, because I definitely want you right now more than I want coffee."
She wanted to melt against him and kiss him again, drag him to her bedroom and strip him. But she figured she'd give him a heart attack if she tried.
She couldn't, however, prevent her hands from running over his chest and enjoying the feel of his muscles beneath his shirt.
"Really, now?" he asked, giving the question an overly dramatic emphasis. "Then we'll just have to do something about that, won't we?"
Will bent his knees slightly, enough so that he could easily wrap his arms around Evey's legs, just below her rear.
"Yoink!" he shouted as he threw her up and over his shoulder. "Now, where should we take the spoils of my victory?"
"EEK!" Evey squealed, before laughing. She gripped onto his hips, holding herself steady as she laughed. Well, this certainly had never happened before! Her hair tumbled about, and she couldn't resist, she gave his easily accessible ass a squeeze. She continued to laugh, flushed and excited, and actually having fun!
Will jumped when she pinched him, and he whorled her around as he started carrying her around the apartment.
"Watch it! I might drop you!" he teased, pretending like he was going to throw her on the couch. Evey laughed as he traveled around the apartment with her, squeals and laughter peeling out of her with his movements. When he acted like he was going to throw her on the couch, Evey squeaked and grabbed onto his hips.
She laughed again.
"Where are you going to take me, oh conqueror? Make up your mind already," she laughed.
"Maybe," he chuckled, pausing to readjust his hold on her. "Maybe I'll just follow this trail of breadcrumbs that lead up to the bedroom."
Evey's heart and stomach fluttered. The image of Will, naked and in her bed, came unbidden into her mind. It filled her with such heat that Evey moaned. Every inch of her was suddenly aware of him, and her legs trembled with anticipation. She didn't know if he was playing or not, but she wanted him so badly she was willing to risk it being disappointed if he wasn't serious.
"Good idea," she breathed, her voice raspy with obvious desire. Will did his best villainous laugh, sounding utterly ridiculous as he marched off with her into the bedroom. Once there, he promptly flung her onto the bed. Evey laughed as she landed, her robe falling open. She reached up, and with a sultry smile, pulled him down onto the bed with her.
An hour or so later, Evey was sweaty, deliciously sated, and curled against Will's naked form, the sheet barely covering them. The bed was a mess, so was her hair and his, and she couldn't remember feeling this good.
Her fingernail was making circles on his chest as she looked him.
"You're incredible, you know that?"
Will chuckled, running his fingers through her hair.
"I know, but it sounds better when you say it."
He sighed, rolling onto his back, careful not to pull away from Evey.
"And that wasn't even the surprise I had planned."
That caught her attention. She slid closer, putting her leg over his abdomen and crossing her arms over his chest, laying her chin on them as she looked at him.
"What surprise did you have planned?"
"Well, it wouldn't have quite the effect if I just told you," he said, moving his hand on top of one of hers. "But if we both get up and get dressed, I can show you."
Evey smiled. She moved up against him and kissed him, nibbling on his bottom lip, before giving it a small suck. She gave him a wicked grin.
She moved over him and bounced off the bed, humming happily to herself as she searched for clothes, completely comfortable in her nakedness and with the man she knew was watching her from the bed. And watch he did for a minute or two before he rolled out of bed and began dressing himself. Once clothed again, he leaned over to give her a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Ready to ride?"
Evey laughed. She was wearing a pale lilac dress that ended just above her knees, brown boots and a brown jacket, her hair loose around her shoulders. She had put on a set of pearls that had belonged to her mother, hesitating only a moment before she put on the necklace and earrings. She had already put on her make-up too.
Grinning, she pressed against him and tapped his nose with her finger.
"You or the bike? Because both are quite tempting," she said with a devilish grin.
"The bike, of course," he said, taking her hand and walking out of the room. "You already rode me."
Will stopped a few paces from the door, turning towards her.
"Unless you'd rather drive, since you're wearing a dress."
Evey gave him a naughty smile and put on her bag. She wasn't letting the thing out of her sight. She leaned up and whispered, "Bike."
She laughed and headed toward the door, grabbing her keys as she went.
"I know you like looking at my legs."
"Yeah, but I can't look at them when I'm driving... Oh! What about the coffee?"
Will looked back into the kitchen, hoping the pot didn't explode or something while they had been... busy. Evey laughed and headed back, turning it off.
"The coffee is just a little burned, it'll probably still be warm by the time we get back too. It's a good machine."
She walked back to him and ran a finger down his chest.
"As for leg looking, if you really want I'll drive. I don't mind."
She winked at him.
"That way you can touch my legs too if you're so inclined."
"You should drive then!"
Will tucked his helmet under his arm and shoved his keys back into his pocket.
"I'll just leave this in the backseat. We're going to the Black Box Theater. You know how to get there, right? It's near your office."
Evey arched an eyebrow and nodded. She tossed him another grin, and headed toward the front door. In a minute, they were downstairs and in her car, heading toward the theater. She'd made sure that her legs were clearly visible when she sat.
"Is the play the surprise?" she asked.
Will reached over and placed his hand on her thigh.
"But I think you'll like it. I got special permission from the director to share this with you. He was a little apprehensive, but since I'm one of the theater's best techies, he said it would be alright."
A shiver ran up her body at his touch.
"Why would he be apprehensive?" she asked, her voice breathless.
"Expensive equipment in there, and accidents happen. He's just worried because it's his first show since he went on hiatus two years ago. He's feeling a little anxious about the whole thing and was a little shocked when he found out that the theater had been repainted."
Will smiled at her.
"But I'm glad he made an exception, just this once."
Evey found herself blushing. Lord, the man had ways of making her turn red.
"Well, I'm sure I'm going to enjoy it very much, and I'll let him know."
She gave Will a wink.
"If you want to introduce me to him, I'll try to ease his mind. Tell him how excited I am, and all that. After all, it's true."
"He won't be there tonight. I have a key because of all the tech stuff I do. Turn right up here; it'll bring us to the back lot."
He pointed towards an alleyway ahead of them. Evey did as he instructed, parking where he told her to. She grabbed her bag, looked at it for a moment, and then glanced back to him.
"Lead the way, cowboy," she said with a grin, as she got out of the car. Will led her towards the back entrance, using his key to unlock the stage door. Inside it was dark, and he turn on the backstage lights so they could see where they were going. He took Evey's hand, guiding her towards the stage.
"I want you to stand here while I go turn on the stage lights," he said, starting towards the tech booth. "I want you to guess what show we're going to run."
"Okay," she said. Evey's voice was filled with excitement for the little conspiracy. She stayed where she was, as he directed, waiting for him to show her what it was that he wanted her to see. She couldn't help but be enchanted with him.
No one had ever tried to give a surprise before. Slowly, the lights came up on the stage, revealing the half-finished set.
"Welcome to London, 1885," Will's voice came over the speakers. "Any guesses? I'll give you a hint: it's a musical."
"A musical? That's too general! There are tons of musicals!"
She began wandering around the set, amazed at the skill of the creators, admiring the workmanship.
"This is incredible. Give me a theme at least, Will!"
"Alright. How about this instead: the title character is a serial killer."
Two killers from the 1880s popped into her head. One was definitely a serial killer, but hadn't thought they'd make a musical out of his stories. However there was a musical with a killer in it that was set in that time period. And if she remembered correctly... She grinned.
"Jekyll and Hyde?" she asked tentatively as she wandered through the set, looking for Will. There was no answer, but after a moment Will walked up on stage.
"Good guess!" he complimented. "Auditions start next week. Jon's dragging me along. I can't imagine what he's thinking; I was planning on doing tech again."
Evey grinned and ran to him, giving him a hug in her excitement.
"He's making you audition? What does the director say about that? I thought he'd want you doing tech."
She kept her arms around him.
"The director said not to worry about it," he explained with a laugh. "He said if my audition is bad, I'll do tech. If it's good, he'll place me as understudy to my brother, so that he can't complain. Not to mention it will give Jon an ego boost."
Will looked around the set.
"So, you like it, huh?"
"I love it. The workmanship is beautiful."
She stepped away and took his hand.
"What part is your brother auditioning for?"
He cocked his head to one side, a smirk stretching across his face.
"Take a wild guess."
Evey gaped at him.
"Not Jekyll and Hyde! Oh, god."
"That's actually kind of appropriate."
She waved her free hand at him.
"Don't tell him I said that."
She leaned her head against his shoulder.
"So what do we do from here?" she asked quietly.
"Well," Will said as he looked at his watch. "It isn't too late in the evening. Want to grab some dinner?"
Evey smiled at him.
"I'd love to. I haven't eaten since lunch."
Her smile slowly faded.
"Someplace quiet. There are some things I have to tell you."
Will's brows furrowed as he wrapped his arm around her shoulder.
"What's wrong?" he asked. "Or would you just rather wait until we're sitting down to a meal?"
Evey pressed close, laying her cheek on his chest and closing her eyes.
"Yeah. Come on. Let's go. I'll explain once we're there."