On Pins and Needles

Thaddeus walked toward the cathedral with the bundle he had retrieved from his quarters under one arm, offering up a tense smile to the night air. He was making every effort to keep from going out of his mind with worry and was glad of something productive to do to keep his mind off Alfarinn's current mission.

Of course, he also wasn't entirely sure he should be thinking of anything else; it was a bit surreal to think of calmly going about one's business when any number of things could be happening to your lover. However, romantic as pining away and worrying about Alfarinn might be, it was entirely impractical.

He opened the door quietly and stepped inside the cathedral, taking a moment to let his eyes adjust to the light. There was a feeling of reverence here that went beyond the religious implications of the building; in some way he could not quite explain, he simply felt more...Anantya...when he stepped through those doors.

Mai 16 years ago
Mai knelt in one of the small chapels inside the cathedral. This small section was done in the style of a Buddhist shrine. In front of her was a smooth black marble tablet with the kanji for the name of her father weathered to near smoothness over the many centuries. She had placed a bowl of rice and a cup of hot tea in front of it. She sat with her eyes closed as the fragrant sandalwood incense filled the area and drifted lazily into the open nave beyond.

Her eyes opened at the sound of someone entering through the large main doors and after a few moments of listening quietly, she smiled. Rocking backwards to her feet, she bowed deeply once more before exiting the chapel and walking towards Thaddeus.

"I am happy you are back Ba-di-kun. You are troubled?"

She came to stand in front of him, white eyes looking into grey ones. His shoulders were tense and although the air of peace about the place seemed to be starting to work its magic, there seemed to be something bothering her Ba-di.

Taking him by the hand, Mai smiled and said.


Leading him to the organ, she gestured to the bench before kneeling in front of it much as she sat next to him in the garden.
Thaddeus Grey 16 years ago
There was, Thaddeus reflected, no keeping anything from Mai. It was actually something of a relief, to be an open book to someone, and just being in the Elder’s presence had a way of easing his mind and loosening his armor.

“It is good to see you. And yes, I am.”

He followed closely behind Mai, keeping the hold on her hand, and sat down on the bench facing her, setting his bundle down beside him. Resting his elbows on his knees, he cupped his chin in his hands, feeling the red cord around his neck shift as the weight on the end swung forward.

“I somehow got it into my mind that Alfarinn would be safe as long I was with him…I worry when we have to be apart.” He smiled ruefully. “An odd notion, I suppose, considering I’ve been putting him in danger practically since the moment we met.” He bit down on his lower lip, staring absently at the stained glass windows for a moment before returning his gaze to Mai.

“That seems to be an affliction of mine…this tendency to put the people I care about in harm’s way. I can’t help loving people any more than I can help worrying over them, it seems. It makes the stakes that much higher but I can’t regret it.” He shook his head. “So yes, I’m troubled. As unhelpful as worrying is, I don’t see it going away any time soon.”
Mai 16 years ago
Mai tilted her head up to Thaddeus and listened to his concerns. She was not surprised that his troubles were centered around someone other than himself or even specifically how he felt he was effecting someone else's life. Her Ba-di always had good manners and was never unwelcome by anyone because he was always mindful of the people around him.

"Thaddeus-san, this affliction that you believe exists is the nature of being a part of someone's life. The ivy and the oak live together and a fire would be a danger to them both. The oak does not feel that he is responsible for the danger to ivy simply because the fire reached him first."

She smiled softly and stretched out her hand to his knee.

"Alfarinn-san cares for you very much and his troubles are your troubles and yours are his. Do you consider him a burden in your life?"

Shaking her head slightly negatively she agreed silently that the concerns for others when they were not present were not likely to go away.

"You can only do as much as you are able and try to use the waiting time to its fullest potential."
Thaddeus Grey 16 years ago
Thaddeus nodded his head in acknowledgement as Mai responded, rubbing absently at his chin in thought. She was right, of course; this was life, and while there was a great deal that he could choose, he didn’t get to decide when and where the fire came. It was, as Mai had said, the nature of life and love. There wasn’t much purpose in questioning the justice of that.

He shook his head; though he thought Mai’s question was rhetorical he answered it anyway.

“No. A blessing, not a burden.”

It was at times difficult to imagine that others might see things the same way; while he didn’t consider himself a troublemaker, he did seem to bring a fair amount of trouble on others, however inadvertently. It was important to him, to be a good clansman and a good friend, and he had trouble letting go of his mistakes, his failures in that department.

At the moment, however, sitting in the cathedral, he could believe it.

He managed a slight smile when Mai mentioned using the time to its fullest, turning to the bundle he had brought into the cathedral and thinking that at least sometimes he was on the right track.

“Actually…there is something I was meaning to do.”

He carefully tugged at the twine holding the bundle together until it fell away, revealing a square of cream colored fabric, folded over many times. This he placed on top of the organ, carefully unfolding until he had exposed a long rectangle with several more folds yet to go. Standing up, he continued to unfold, draping the cloth over the piano as he spoke.

“Traditionally the Lady Grey does this, but as there is no Lady Grey I’ll have to improvise a bit.” His smile broadened as he stepped back to reveal the whole of the fabric. Now that it was fully exposed, he could see the fine golden lines that formed the shape of a great tree, with delicate, stylized doves on each branch. For all its simplicity, a closer look would reveal intricate details; tiny leaves on the branches, scrollwork in the letters of the names.

“I haven’t so much as looked at this in years.” He turned to Mai, smiling. “But it’s time to add to it. Hopefully….” He walked around the piano, picking up the top end of the tapestry and looking at the back. “Ah, yes.” Pulling off his glove and slipping it inside his jacket pocket, he reached out and very carefully worked his thumb under the lump of soft wax that held a long thread in place. His hand tingled slightly with his senses, though without more focus on his part he only felt the warmth of familiarity. “It’s all one line, you see. I think there’s enough thread left for my purposes.”
Mai 16 years ago
Mai nodded her head at the answer.

"Thaddeus no mean burden in English either. Alfarinn-san loves you very much."

Unspoken but to herself she added mentally that she had never considered him a burden either but a blessing as he described Alfarinn. One that fate gave her because she did not know how to ask for it.

She watched him stand and pull out the fabric, unfurling it on the organ. Mai almost reached out to touch the tapestry but then brought her hand back to her side, respect winning out over curiosity.

"This is your kamon, Thaddeus-san?"

She looked over at the little doves until she found Thaddeus's name up towards the top, the last dove added. Smiling at the lovely craftsmanship, Mai turned her head in puzzlement when he said he had not looked at it.

"Ba-di-kun, One's family should have a place of honor. Not hidden away in a box. The ancestors are with us as much as you invite them in. You will not find it so very sad to not see them if you give them a place of honor in your life. Speak to them and listen and you will find they sometimes speak back."

Mai patted his arm, knowing he loved his family very much and had struggled very hard in the beginning with being without them. Family honor was very important to her Ba-di and this was as it should be. She understood that he felt he had disappointed them with his choices and knew only he could decide how to change that.

Crinkling her nose, she smiled.

"Especially my father, he is a...big talker."

She gestured back to the chapel she had come from before looking back to the tapestry.

"It is beautiful. Alfarinn-san will be very pleased. It is a very special thing you give him."

Mai stepped back to watch, excited to be witnessing something so special first hand.
Thaddeus Grey 16 years ago
Thaddeus looked down, smiling softly at Mai’s firm declaration, though surprisingly enough he wasn’t blushing.

“I know he does.” He was half tempted to add something glib to that remark, something about a person –having- to love him to be able to put up with him, but decided to let the comment stand on its own.

He nodded at Mai’s question.

“Something like that, yes.”

He bit down on his lower lip when Mai spoke again, knowing she was right and feeling a sting of rebuke.

“They do.” he said, trailing up the tree with his eyes. It wasn’t an argument so much as an agreement, and as his eyes lingered over his father’s dove, he contemplated where he might have failed, and his own hopes to remedy that. He thought of the prodigal son, who, in spite of his foolishness, had eventually come to his senses and returned home, even if only to state that he was no longer worthy of being called ‘son.’ He wondered if the young man in the proverb clung to any sort of faith that he would be well received, behind that veneer of humility, and decided it probably didn’t matter.

His thoughts turned to the book, likewise hidden in a box, and a chill went through him when he realized the disturbing similarity. He wondered if Lykaios had hidden that book away for similar reasons, if it was a truth too close to his heart to bear and a vulnerability too great to be revealed or even examined too closely.

He pulled away from his reverie at the light touch to his arm, understanding that Mai wasn’t rebuking so much as reminding, and smiled softly in response.

“I think fathers are like that. Lord Grey was never the most vocal man but he had a way of making his presence known. And I should listen more often.”

That said, he freed the needle from the hem of the tapestry, smiling at the compliment.

“I hope so.”

That was an understatement; in truth he was somewhat nervous about his presumption, though not enough to stop him from acting. He wondered for a moment if he would lose any face with his Clan if he, Thaddeus Grey, Nightsman of Anantya, were spied doing embroidery, and just as quickly decided he couldn’t possibly care less. He knew his own mind well enough to understand that he was what some would call ‘high strung’ and had adopted any number of habits that kept him calm and collected. This was certainly an improvement over driving the people around him mad, especially right now, worried as he was over Alfarinn.

Resisting the urge to send and see if his lover was alright, he instead threaded the needle and began with small, tight stitches on the empty space across from his own dove. After a moment, when his hands had adjusted to both the sense of the needle and the feel of his work, he picked up the conversation again.

“It feels strange to be doing this…I feel I am stealing away time when there is so much to do.” He shook his head. “There always is, I suppose…though, come to think of it there was something I had meant to ask around about.” He kept his eyes on his work, considering. “I left a pair of gloves somewhere in the Manor…or at least I’m reasonably sure I did. In any case, they fell into the wrong hands and it would be useful to know more about how that occurred.” He gave the thread an upward pull, pleased to see the gold line begin to take shape.
Mai 16 years ago
Mai watched him sew with interest, coming around to where she could watch better.

"I did not know you could do this, Ba-di-kun. Did your mother teach you?"

She looked thoughtful about the gloves for a moment.

"You had left them in the garden on the bench. You showed me your ring."

Mai nodded to the ring on Thaddeus's thumb and then continued to think back to the night he had been to the Manor last.

"There was myself, yourself, Alfarinn-san, Talon-san, Amberelle-chan, and the neko but we left before they did. Anyone could have picked them up even after everyone we saw was gone."

She narrowed her eyes and looked thoughtful.

"Too many scents and it happened too long ago. This is in connection to the task you are currently trying to solve, ne? That would make Amberelle-chan very unlikely. She is not old enough to be interested. Talon-san is new to the city but that does not prove innocence. He and the ring returned at the same time."

Going back to watching him work, she grinned and ran quietly to the small chapel. Mai found her box of incense and pulled out a new stick and lit it before carrying it back to where Thaddeus continued sewing.

"To bless your work."

She explained before crawling up on the bench beside him so that she could see, still holding the smoking stick.
Thaddeus Grey 16 years ago
Thaddeus traced his finger over his own work, pausing to smile at Mai’s question.

“While my mother was, indirectly, responsible for my learning, it was a friend of mine who taught me.” He looked up at the ceiling, remembering. “I must have been fifteen or sixteen, and I had managed to snag a particularly nice waistcoat while doing…something I wasn’t supposed to be doing, I don’t remember now. I think climbing over a gate. In any case, I didn’t want my mother to know about it, and went to this friend of mine, Christina, for help.” He shook his head and turned to raise one eyebrow at Mai before turning again to his work. “She rather flatly asked me why I couldn’t do it myself.” He shrugged. “I discovered that not knowing bothered me, and ended up in a room with a group of ladies, learning needlework. I found it surprisingly relaxing and, of course, liked knowing how to do something that the other men didn’t know.”

He grinned again, slightly embarrassed by this last admission. “I was young,” he said by way of explanation.

He frowned when Mai reminded him of when he had taken off his gloves. “I might have mislaid them very early in the evening then.” It was, he reflected, something of a long shot in the first place, but one he didn’t want to give up on completely.

He bit the inside of his cheek before speaking again.

“Alfarinn and I think it might have been someone who knew me well, though of course we’re not ruling anything out at this point.”

He looked up for a brief moment when Mai hurried from the room, wondering what she was up to, but soon returned to his work. The line of the dove was about halfway complete and he was pleased with the progress so far.

He smelled something unfamiliar at Mai’s return and paused for a moment to look over, raising one eyebrow at the tendril of smoke. He blinked, expecting his eyes to start watering and his nose to start itching, but it seemed Mai had selected something reasonable and the room was open enough that he wasn’t bothered. He also couldn’t help but smile sincerely at her reasoning.

“Thank you.”

With that, he went back to work with a smile on his face.
Claire 16 years ago
Claire had her head down as she entered the large building, still avidly reading a page in her book. She held onto the large door so that it fell silently before turning around in surprise at the sound of voices.

Thinking of turning around and heading back out the way she came instead of disturbing something that could have been private, Claire decided that it would be rude to do so as they had likely heard the door open. She would give a few greetings and then politely excuse herself.

Walking up the aisle, she found the Elder of the Hunt holding a stick of incense while watching Thaddeus embroider a large tapestry. Curious despite herself, she stepped closer in order to have a better look.

"Good evening to you both. That is a beautiful piece, Thaddeus."

She nodded to Mai.

"Elder Asahi."
Thaddeus Grey 16 years ago
Thaddeus looked up at the sound of footsteps, genuinely pleased to see who they belonged too. He carefully put the needle down and brushed an errant strand of hair from his face.

“Good evening Claire. It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

He looked down at the tapestry, checking his progress. “Thank you.” He angled the tapestry slightly so that Claire could get a better view. “I can, of course, take credit for only a very small portion; the first through fourth generations were all done by the Lady Elizabeth Grey. After that Greys throughout the generations have taken up the responsibility of updating the tapestry. This area” he gestured with one finger, indicating a large portion of the upper left side of the tree “was completed almost entirely by my mother, Lady Monica Grey.” He had the grace to look down, suddenly shy as he reminded himself that his family history was not everyone’s idea of a fascinating topic of conversation.

“In any case.” He tilted his head to get a look at the book in Claire’s hand, realizing that she was likely looking for a quiet place to read and here he was chatting away about his family. Feeling unaccountably self conscious, he freed the needle from the cloth, though he did not resume embroidering right away. He found the idea of more company to be a pleasant notion and hoped Claire might stay. “I’d be delighted if you joined us though I’m afraid I cannot promise I won’t risk subjecting you to more of the same.”
Mai 16 years ago
Mai heard the door opening and after a moment identified the sound as belonging to Sorin's daughter, Claire. Even before she was close enough to be greeted she could smell the faint scent of ocean that always accompanied the woman much like the scent of the fuji flower clung to her.

She nodded her head in greeting and waited until Claire spoke to Thaddeus before commenting.

"Konbanwa, Claire-chan."

The French woman was a pleasant change from her sire and though Mai never understood what prompted Sorin to take her as a child, she had always hoped that Claire's quiet demeanor would have a soothing effect on the more confrontational nature of her father.

Sorin was quick to take offense where none was given and it took someone with Claire's self effacing personality to remain by his side. Anyone else would have long ago made some unpardonable error and she sometimes wondered how it was that Sorin and Thaddeus continued to work so well together. Mai never claimed to understand the intricate social workings of humans and vampires the way a member of the Night would but Thaddeus, while polite and ever mindful of others, could at times be very convicted in his beliefs. Even though she was certain that he would be respectful to his elder, Mai had seen others relegated to the unfavored for doing much less.

She had kept a keen eye on Sorin while he was around Thaddeus in the beginning, finding his manner peculiar and wondering what designs he might have for Emma's child but he never behaved in a suspicious manner nor had Thaddeus ever seemed upset by him so she eventually concluded there was nothing beyond a desire for friendship and understanding in Sorin's plans. Perhaps between Thaddeus and Claire they could mellow the Roman into the fine wine he had the potential to be. For this reason and for a liking of the woman herself, Mai was happy to see Claire return.

She got down from the bench where she had been sitting next to Thaddeus and offered the place to Claire with a gesture before kneeling once more on the floor beside Thaddeus's knee.
Claire 16 years ago
Claire smiled at Thaddeus and listened to the explanation of his family tapestry with interest.

"I did not mean to interrupt. I can go elsewhere if you would rather speak alone."

She nodded when he asked her to stay. If she had walked in on them at least it seemed to be nothing so very urgent; neither of them appeared to be willing her to leave behind their curtesies. Claire did look uncomfortable when Mai got up to kneel on the floor and offered her a place on the bench. She had not meant to disrupt the elder but it would be rude to refuse the offer and so she sat down quietly beside Thaddeus and looked over his shoulder at his work.

"You have a very neat hand. One of my sister's could never get two stitches to line up the same way no matter how hard she tried."

Claire blushed at the reference to her own family and shrugged a little.

"I find your speaking of your family interesting. It has been a long time since I've had much of one and speaking of them brings them closer for a little while so if you will put up with the occasional mention of mine then I would love to hear more about yours."

She hoped that he did not consider her overly forward or rude but she was curious about her fellow clan mate. Thaddeus was in the same order and yet Sorin have rarely ever mentioned him in his letters either good or bad and meeting him now, Claire found that strange. She knew that sometimes omission of mention spoke greater volumes about a person's attention than did their praise. Claire also knew her creator very well and Thaddeus was not someone who would have escaped his notice so the pointed lack of information spoke volumes about the Elder of the Night's focus on the man before her but she was not yet what it meant.
Thaddeus Grey 16 years ago
Thaddeus smiled faintly as the two women in his company got situated, returning to his task with something like optimism. Seeing that the company and the tapestry were proving to be quite comfortable distractions from his worries, he kept his thoughts focused on those more present matters. There was of course a consistent awareness of both Alfarinn and his current predicament with his clan, but he was at least reasonably certain that no one was going to burst into the cathedral and take him out at this very moment. Alfarinn’s wasn’t a situation he could control and the best thing he could do for his lover was to stay calm.

“Fair enough; it would seem we have an agreement, then.”

He felt quite fortunate to be among people who didn’t mind hearing about his human family; that was a matter that could prove very awkward if one took offense to such things. One’s roots were oftentimes a very personal part of one’s self, and some did not wish others to have that sort of information.

“I think sometimes the little mistakes are what make this work interesting; you see how over here that dove is looking up a little?” He chuckled. “Some said it was prophetic; that this dove was looking up because she knew she would have six children to look after. Just the slightest flaws, but stories stem from them.”
Claire 16 years ago
Claire looked at the little dove and smiled.

"Mistakes can be very interesting but I am afraid my mother was very exacting when it came to needle work. I still remember her admonitions like it was yesterday. 'Faire les points tendus, Claire!"

She blushed a little and looked down. Thinking about her human family brought to mind her vampiric family and that reminded her of the dagger that sat concealed in her room. Claire glanced sideways at Thaddeus, wondering if she should show it to him. Him and Alfarinn had fought someone, a vampire had died the first night she had met him. He seemed trustworthy and not working with Evenhet against Anantya. Would Mai be sitting here next to him if he were in any way suspicious? The Asian woman did not make an effort to stay away from Sorin that she could tell, perhaps they both managed to not cross each other's path by some mutual consent but Claire knew that Mai's regard was not an easy thing to have. The elder of the hunt was never rude but she rarely wasted her time.

Still unsure of Thaddeus, she thought they might be able to speak of their occupation if he was willing.

"Actually I believe you are also Order of the Night so it is possible that we will work together sometime. I should mention then that I never forget. It is a blessing or a curse perhaps but I remember everything, I've had a photographic memory before they had the word photograph."

Claire looked at the tapestry again and fell silent. She did not normally like speaking of herself with people she barely knew. Instead she enjoyed learning their stories and her own came out a little at a time in response. She was not an initiator of conversation but a good listener instead.

/ooc Mai's thoughts on Sorin and Thaddeus with permission
Thaddeus Grey 16 years ago
Thaddeus smiled at Claire’s accounting, though he understood how such things could be a fond memory. While some people took to cultivating various talents in a purely utilitarian sense, it could also become a source of pride and accomplishment. Then there was the communal element of needlework. Odd that you could feel closer to a person simply by sharing in the same pursuit, even if you hardly spoke at all, but there it was.

“Yes, I’m Order of the Night. I’m on a bit of a hiatus at the moment but I do look forward to working with you.”

The statement was sincere enough; he really was looking forward to getting back to his work, his research and books and thinking and planning. As much as his life had changed, being a Nightsman still meant a great deal to him and even with his reclusive nature he enjoyed having company.

He nodded slightly when Claire explained her unique memory, being careful not to disrupt his stitching. In spite of how very useful that must be, Thaddeus could certainly understand her mixed feelings on the matter. There were things in his experience he’d just as soon forget, though it seemed that the nature of his memory was to recall the worst and leave the best behind.

“That must be helpful; it seems I’m forever writing things down to avoid forgetting.”

He wondered for a moment if there was anything about himself that Claire might care to know in the course of working together. Some things, he supposed, one just had to experience for themselves when it came to his little quirks, but he could at the very least tell her how he might be useful should she ever need his assistance.

“I don’t know if Sorin ever mentioned it to you; I have psychometry. Likewise a blessing and a curse but it proves useful nonetheless.” He smiled slightly as he pulled the needle through the tapestry.

“I’m really generally a home body; most of my duties these days involve research and information gathering, though I have some abilities that lend themselves to…’field work’ as well.”
Claire 16 years ago
Claire smiled a bit ruefully and nodded.

"It is most helpful and yet sometimes very frustrating as well. I don't exactly have an internal filing system or a way to tell if a memory is pertinent or not. Those simply have to be judged for one's self so sometimes I have an overload of memories and experiences to sort through. I give Sorin exhausting facts on many things and most of the time let him wade through it to determine its usefulness to him."

She shrugged her shoulders slightly and thought of her sire. It was certainly that way in the beginning and Claire feared that as time marched on and she had a overwhelming wealth of personal information that she would bog down the Elder of the Night with unnecessary information.

"At least over the years I've come to learn what things he generally looks for and wants to know."

Smiling, she looked over at him at the mention of keeping a journal.

"I keep one as well. It helps organize my thoughts and lets me write down what I think on a matter. Though I might never forget the situation its sometimes a jumble about how I feel about it or what I know so the writing helps me collect my observations in one place and put the details into hopefully some sort of big picture."

Claire ducked her head and looked away for a moment at so much talk about herself.

"There is also my plants. I draw pictures of the ones I've seen and where to find them. Though our kind hardly needs them, I am doctor. A herbalist and midwife back in the early days but I've continued to study as medical advancements have been made. Humans have really come very far into being able to perform miracles of medicine. I'm ever amazed at their continued accomplishment."

There was a time when she wondered if they would ever learn. The days when midwives were scorned as witches and doctors used some truly barbaric treatments that no medicine woman in their right mind would have suggested. Bleeding patients of foul humors, Claire laughed to herself, any vampire over a week old could have told you -that- was a bad idea. Which was why she never drank from the sick; they needed all the blood they could get.

Thaddeus was a psychometrist; that was interesting news. Her mind went back to the dagger she had hidden. Perhaps it would be wise to let him look at it and see what he could sense. Sorin could still be in danger and if not then perhaps it held no harm to him but would be of use to Thaddeus.

"I... I have something I wonder if you could look at. It."

Claire considered her words, it was important but was it terribly urgent? She did not know.

"might be important. I don't think it is an emergency but if you have the time then I would like to request your aid with it."

Remembering the discussion of their abilities again, she continued to list where she might be of help to him as well .

"I am an tracker."

At this Claire looked over and smiled at Mai.

"It comes in handy for me who would otherwise have no idea how to hunt."
Thaddeus Grey 16 years ago
Thaddeus nodded slightly in response as the single line forming the dove took shape under his fingers, very near coming to a closed shape as they spoke.

“I can see how that would be overwhelming. Even so, I’m sure Sorin appreciates it very much.”

He smiled at Claire’s admission that she also kept a journal, wondering if it was a trait of the Order of the Night. It seemed to fit and he thought wryly that Anantya of that order were certainly arrogant enough to believe their minds were complex enough to benefit from a bit of extra storage space.

He looked down and bit back a smirk at the thought of just how much shelf space his personal journals took up.

The plant records seemed quite interesting and, after closing the line that formed the dove, he looked up at Claire and voiced his thoughts.

“Have you considered publishing? I would think that would be quite useful information, not to mention just being interesting.” He grinned a little. “I seem to remember something about leaves of three, let them be…”

He kept his thoughts on human advancements, namely that he would be perfectly happy if they focused their energies on medical science rather than new and better ways to kill each other off, to himself, and turned back to the tapestry. He bit down absently on his lower lip, planning ahead, then began on the space between the two doves.

He nodded his head at Claire’s request, his forehead crinkling a little.

“Yes, of course. Any time.” In truth he felt a bit guilty for not being around more to help with such matters, whatever their importance might be. There was something of an unspoken code, he felt, in Anantya; a general willingness to help each other combined with a strong discretion and a belief that one did not take advantage of that open ended nature. Or at least, that was his take on it. To him no requests were unimportant if an Anantya was doing the asking. “Is it something you could bring here?”

He froze for a moment in mid motion when Claire mentioned her tracking ability before his better judgment caught up with that initial reaction and he resumed stitching, leaning close to the tapestry to work out some of the finer details.

“I imagine that would be convenient.”

His voice was even enough and he could only hope he had managed to mask his initial apprehension. Even with his paranoid mind he could see that there was absolutely no reason to mistrust Claire because of that ability; in fact, telling him was a sign of good faith, not something to be nervous over. He chalked his reaction up to recent bad experiences and tried to let it go, though there was a nagging little voice mentioning that a fellow tracker would know what sort of item to bring to Lykaios. Furthermore, perhaps all this good faith; arriving with Dani at The Wolf’s house and offering assistance, for example, was in fact a way to throw him off the trail.

He finally settled on a compromise with the nagging voice; he would keep his eyes open and pay attention but refused to let his emotions and imagination get the better of him.

For the sake of keeping the conversation going, he looked up and smiled slightly.

“I suppose after seeing the tapestry my shape shifting form shouldn’t come as a surprise.”
Mai 16 years ago
Mai listened to them both as she continued to watch Thaddeus work. He seemed so peaceful and happy. It was good to see; her Ba-di had been through so much in his young life. There was so much going on for him right now and yet he seemed more content than he had ever been. Though currently concerned about Alfarinn which seemed an odd notion. The Evenhet elder had lived some time without managing to come to harm though he was a known risk taker especially when other people's lives were on the line. Was he on some mission then? They were going to have to battle this kind of waiting through out their time together but over all the experience had been a positive one for both of them from what she saw.

As Thaddeus and Claire explained their skills to each other, she smiled faintly to herself. Such conversations rarely took place in the Order of the Hunt; they all knew what they were each good at and that was the same thing. Only the methods changed from person to person.

She looked up when Claire explained she was a tracker. That was interesting. Thaddeus seemed to tense up at that but he relaxed quickly enough. Did he believe Claire involved in Emma's murder? Mai tilted her head to the side and scrutinized the Briton. Claire had been alive long enough and she had been absent since before she and Thaddeus returned home from Bulgaria. It did seem significant that she was back now when they were close to figuring out the reasons behind Emma's murder.

Did Claire want to help Sorin advance? If so then why did she leave Nachton directly after that event took place? Unless she was only partly involved and he sent her away or Claire had done it on her own and Sorin sent her away for her own protection but then why bring her back now? Surely the Elder of the Night could divine what was going on.

Mai stood and bowed slightly to them both.

"I have something for you Claire-chan. I shall return."

With a smile at Thaddeus, she turned to head back to the Manor quickly. She did not fear to leave them alone. Claire poised little threat to Thaddeus if she were guilty. She would know that Mai knew who was in the Cathedral with him, besides her Ba-di was skilled in command, though far younger than Claire, he might be able to at least stall her if in danger. He was also better in combat. No, up front confrontation was not Claire's strong point, another interesting observation. Ah, but she was not Order of the Night and this was not her were her expertise lay, knowing her prey and hunting it ruthlessly was. If the tall woman were involved then it was only a matter of time before Mai was on her trail.

((OOC: Out for the moment))
Claire 16 years ago
Claire smiled and ducked her head in an embarrassed nod at the mention of Sorin's sentiments on the matter. At the thought of publishing her plant journals, she shrugged.

"I do not know. I would think there are many of those types of things. Yes, leaves of three is a good way to keep children out of the poisonous plants -if- they remember to look before rolling around in it."

She thought about it and continued.

"In the older days it might have been useful but these days humans seem more interested in drugs bought off the shelves than plants. It would be so much better for them to take a valerian or lemon balm tea for insomnia, or chamomile of course, than sleeping pills but it seems many believe that plants don't work when in reality you are taking them in liquid form in most cases and so they work faster and are much better for you than the harsh chemicals."

Looking up at Thaddeus, she blushed and covered her mouth with her hand and stifled a small laugh.

"I'm sorry I did not warn you about my ramblings about medicine and plants."

She thought about whether she could bring the sword here. She could but for some reason Claire felt that she would rather it not be seen by chance by others, at least not until she knew why it was in that apartment.

"I could.. but I would rather not. I am not sure about it. It is in my room if you wouldn't mind stopping by or I could bring it to you somewhere else."

This probably was not sounding good. An Anantya not feeling safe to bring something out into the open within clan territory.

"I just do not know what it means."

She shrugged about the tracking being convenient.

" I suppose it fit my personality at the time. It has been useful to the clan. I believe it is something of a more rare gift these days."

Looking down at the tapestry and then back up at Thaddeus, she smiled.

"Doves are beautiful birds and they are a comfort to listen to."

Claire nodded at the elder, a bit startled when she said she had something for her and then quickly left.

"I will remain here then."

Though there was little doubt that Mai could have easily found here anywhere on the Estate.
Thaddeus Grey 16 years ago
Thaddeus raised one eyebrow, still bent over his work, a smirk playing at the corner of his mouth. He spoke quietly, more because he was concentrating and not paying attention to his volume. Mumbling was a terrible habit, he knew, and one he had made every effort to break; nowadays he simply wasn’t aware he was doing it.

“Not at all. I’ve learned something useful and I never take issue with that.”

He thought it…interesting…that Claire had specifically mentioned sleep aids. Just how much did she know about him? Try as he might to admit to himself that she might have brought up the subject at random, that was yet another thing that nagged at him. But why would she tip her hand?

He wondered if he was being toyed with, and didn’t like the feeling.

Claire’s request for privacy wasn’t, under ordinary circumstances, all that unusual or unreasonable, but now the paranoia was under his skin. It was hard not to feel sympathetic, though; he tried telling himself that for heaven’s sake, she could just be anxious. Whatever she wanted him to sense could very well be causing her disturbance; perhaps even enough to lose sleep, hence the mention of herbal remedies for insomnia.

He couldn’t quite shake his apprehension, though. He was also quite certain that he didn’t want Claire –knowing- he was on his guard, and cast about in his mind for the best course of action. In the end it seemed reasonable to go along with the sensing; if she was trying to lay a trap here and now, there were far better ways to go about it and at worst he imagined she was trying to learn more about him. He would simply, as always, have to be careful.

“I can stop by your rooms.”

He was surprised to observe his progress with a fresh eye; the name was nearly completed now, in the course of his thinking.

He resisted the urge to bite down on his lower lip when Claire continued on the subject of tracking. In any other circumstances, he might have asked Claire if she could track the ring. He wasn’t positive of how tracking worked, but he thought, considering it had been in other hands for three hundred years, it might lead them to the accomplice rather than Thaddeus himself.

“Yes, it is. A shame there are so few.”

He paused in his work again, wondering why the comment carried such a sting for him, and why that had come out more sharply than he intended.

Emma was a tracker.

So was Lykaios.

He wasn’t sure of how he felt about those facts, and concluded his feelings were becoming too cloudy and irrelevant, from stress and paranoia and god only knew what else, to be of much use.

He looked up and returned Claire’s smile, lowering his eyes almost sheepishly at her opinion of doves, and set down the needle and turned fully around when Mai took her leave, giving her a somewhat weighty nod. Then he returned to the tapestry; the name was complete now, and Mai had picked a convenient time to make herself scarce. While he didn’t so much mind her seeing what he was doing, he thought his addition might make for a pleasant surprise.

Not that he really expected he could surprise Mai. Even so, it made for a pleasant thought.