The Art of Command (private)
Thaddeus stepped into the museum, giving an absent nod to the guard before heading deeper in. He was alone, and that was just the way he wanted it - he'd lost Palmer early on in spite of his insistence to Alfarinn that he wished to speak with his friend. Had he put a little command in his speech when he'd told Palmer to go back to the hotel for the day? He couldn't remember now, which seemed odd. Why would he do that?
Well, it was -very- important that he be in the museum right now. He knew no one would understand that, but the ends justified the means. It was absolutely critical that he be here, alone, right now.
It didn't matter why. He walked briskly in, making his way to one of his favorite places - the medieval arms and armory. This was right. This was where he was supposed to be.
The insistence in that question was enough to make his head throb. In fact, suddenly it began to feel as though icy spikes were being driven into his temples. The lighting in the museum seemed much harsher than it had a moment ago and the ground swayed under his feet. Rubbing the side of his head with two fingers and wincing with pain, he stumbled over to a bench, his hand splayed out for balance. His other hand came up to touch something tickling his face, just above his lip. His fingertips came away red and he stared at them stupidly for a long moment before realizing that his nose was bleeding. It hadn't done that since he was a high strung teenager, though the gesture of pinching his nose to stop the blood stayed on as a nervous habit.
What the hell was going on here?
He reached into his inside pocket and pulled out a handkerchief to wipe the trace of blood away. There wasn't much and the bleeding had already stopped. Still, it was unsettling. He looked up and frowned deeply. What was he doing here? He was meant to be in Mayan Arts and Artifacts...he'd been taking notes and then...there was a headache...
Somehow that didn't quite seam up and it didn't explain why he was all the way over here, in front of the sword that had once belonged to his closest friend. Had he blacked out? Ridiculous. Greys didn't faint. Still, this was all most disconcerting and he felt it would be best to return home and lie down for a while. Not wanting to risk another dizzy spell, though, he decided he would wait a bit and see if the pain in his head faded.
There were some times when being a myth sucked.
So being certain he was right, Jan had bet the guy two hundred dollars and drove them all on a little field trip to the local museum. Lo' and behold! He was right. Bet that was going to hurt his experience points. Who cares, he was now two hundred dollars richer and the pompous ass learned he didn't know everything.
The others took the last bus home with mister gm grumbling the whole way. He had stayed at the museum so he would not be tempted to rub it in. Besides there was something sad about seeing things from his past encased in glass with little plaques explaining to the clueless what everything was for.
He was about to get up and go home when he saw someone who looked familiar. Oddly it was another person who could understand what it was like to look like a kid and yet feel so old inside. He didn't know the guy well but at this moment that wasn't going to stop him from being sociable for the sake of not being alone.
Getting up, he went over to where Thaddeus was standing just in time to see the guy grab his head and stumble over a bench. Jan hurried over and put an arm on the blonde's shoulder.
"Thaddeus are you alright?"Â?
Never let it be said he was not a concerned citizen. Especially not to cute immortals in need.
A few blinks later, he realized several things at once.
Something was wrong with him. One did not get sudden, violent headaches and then end up in a different part of the building spontaneously. That meant either there had been an accident or he had been attacked.
Rather than a sharp stabbing pain, his head was beginning to throb now, which made it difficult to think.
Something had happened to him. He’d been taking notes one moment and the next…or had he moved on? He couldn’t quite remember – the Mayan masks seemed blurry and far away. In any case, he’d come to, more or less, and this stranger came over and…
Knew his name.
His first instinct was to jump up and step back as quickly as he could, but he wasn’t honestly certain that he could manage that in his current state and he didn’t think it was wise to let this…spy? Stalker?...know how poorly off he was. Just another moment or two and he would be fully recovered, surely. Besides, stumbling about the museum lacked dignity. Inching away in an attempt to regain his personal space, he tried to calm himself in the face of the adrenaline that was pouring into his veins. Fight or flight was all well and good but right now he needed his mind more than his strength. What did this stranger want? He –had- to be involved. Why else would he know his name?
Trying his best to keep calm, he turned his head and raised one eyebrow, speaking in a tone that bordered on frosty.
“I don’t suppose you could tell me what just happened?”
It was as good a start as any. Asking how the stranger knew his name would be a sign of weakness – it was the sort of thing a frightened victim might ask and he doubted he would get a straight answer anyway. Perhaps admitting that he didn’t understand what he (they?) had done to him was a bad move but he suspected this was all some sort of ploy to get his attention. Perhaps to scare him. Well, they had done both, but one only did this sort of thing when they wanted something, and as ashes he didn’t think he had much to offer.
He wished his head wasn’t pounding – that would make conversing difficult.
He could almost see the thoughts running through the blonde's head. Unfortunately, he didn't know what they were. Shrugging, Jan moved back to sit on a nearby bench. We're going to play the 'don't touch me' game today. That's fine with him...okay, he'd have preferred to play the opposite more adult version but it wasn't like he expected that to be probable anyway.
Both eyebrows raised at Thaddeus' question. What just happened? The tone seemed rather accusatory to him. What did the man think he did? Push him down from across the room? Okay.... so that was possible for him but Thaddeus didn't know that.
"How should I know? I was about to leave and you looked like you were in pain so...you tell me."Â?
Jan would have thought this were a trick except there was a tiny amount of blood still under Thaddeus' nose. Besides Thaddeus hardly seemed the prank playing type.
The stranger wanted him to explain what had happened. Well he wasn’t playing – for all he knew this was some sort of weird social experiment that he wanted no part of. At least he had his personal space back but that could be another form of manipulation – giving him what was his by right, trying to instill a sense of gratitude toward a clearly sympathetic young man. A young, good looking man. Coincidence?
His suspicion deepened as his eyes narrowed.
“How about if –you- tell –me- who you are and what you want?”
That might have come off a little better if he hadn’t cringed at the end. The ache in his head had settled into his bones and talking hurt. Still, he managed what he hoped was a forceful expression that made clear the fact that he was –far- less inclined to cooperate with people who attacked him and then lied about it.
Eventually though he sucked it up and began working on the paperwork, reports and other things that required his attention. It was a long and tedious process which left his thoughts much time to idly wander onto how his companion was doing. One such wool gathering trip was interrupted by a sharp pain; Alfarinn winced and reached for the side of his head. It took a moment to sort out that the stabbing sensation had not originated with him but with his partner. If it hurt him this much from this far away then Thaddeus must be in agony.
He sent his lover a worried inquiry.
[Beloved, are you okay?]
It was clear enough that Thaddeus wasn't. Did someone hit him on the head? Where was Palmer? Alfarinn stood up behind his desk and realized he had no idea where to go. Had they gone back to the Manor? Surely Thaddeus would have told him...wouldn't he? The ill feeling that he had before came back and Alfarinn felt a stab of betrayed paranoia. Had Thaddeus purposefully lied to him? Hidden where he was going? If he went back to the Manor then it was possible that his companion walked right into a trap. Was Palmer a part of it? Had they trusted the wrong person all along? ...No, Palmer was a friend and he knew that well enough from sensing the man on more than one occasion.
He pushed the insecure feelings and the what if thoughts aside as unproductive; something was wrong with Thaddeus and he needed to know what.
Now he was not so sure. Giving Thaddeus a look that clearly said he had lost a few screws, Jan decided to answer the question.
"Jan...though I am offended at how quickly you forget. I would have thought I had made something of an impression. As to what I want..."Â?
He paused and looked Thaddeus over for a moment before grinning good naturedly.
"Nothing your boyfriend would approve of. Seriously though, I was here with some friends and decided to linger. I find the place a bit depressing at times and did not want to be a part of a loud group."Â?
Sighing, Jan looked around at the cases full of nostalgia before turning back to Thaddeus.
"I got up to leave and noticed you nearby. Simple as that. I might be called a pain from time to time but I don't recall anyone claiming I physically hurt them. So don't look at me for whatever is bothering you."Â?
Hopefully that jogged the man's memory, though he was somewhat hurt at being forgotten. People had remembered his face years later when he was just a grubby little kid in the city. One would have thought as an immortal he'd be somehow more unforgettable...he was even clean!
After taking a moment to reassess the situation, he didn’t think it was the person in front of him speaking in his mind – it wasn’t the same sound, the same feel, though perhaps sending sounded different. He didn’t have enough experience to know for certain but that was his instinct.
Beloved? What on earth…was this some sort of seduction game to get information? The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. This was distinctly creepy and it didn’t help that ‘Jan’ was currently giving him a different sort of look than he had been a moment ago. And why was the voice asking if he was alright? Perhaps, he reflected, that initial moment of pain and confusion was the result of a botched glamour or some attempt at altering his mind, his perceptions, and his attacker had intended this all to go quite differently. It didn't seem like the swiftest move in the world to Send on top of screwing with his head with powerful mental abilities but then none of this made much sense.
Now his theories were conflicting though. Was Jan responsible or this voice? Or a third party? It truly didn’t seem that Jan wanted to do anything with him...or nothing his boyfriend wouldn’t…
Boyfriend? Oh for crying out loud, was this a line? Perhaps that really –was- Jan’s voice, distorted through mind speak, and his instincts were wrong.
Feeling rather peevish about this whole incident from top to bottom, not to mention more than a little unnerved, he resorted to sarcasm.
“Oh, how charming, Jan. I don’t –have- a boyfriend, though I must say you are –awfully- confident in your knowledge of my proclivities, which is more than I can say for most.” It wasn’t as though he was about to deny it, though he did wonder what had tipped Jan off. “So what else do you know about me, besides my name and my preferences? Oh, but wait, we know each other? Funny, I would think I would remember you.”
He wasn’t certain of how long he had to reply to a mental sending but he did attempt to focus his thoughts back to the sender, just to cover all his bases.
[I believe we can have this conversation out loud.]
Feeling only slightly better for having vented some frustration, he reached up and pinched the bridge of his nose, making a slight face when he realized that might very well start it bleeding again. Instead, he elected to rake his fingers through his hair.
Hair he knew to be only a couple of inches long, at the longest. His eyes widened slightly as his fingers kept passing through more fine strands, and he pulled a lock over his shoulder to find he could look down and see his own pale coloring in the harsh fluorescent lights.
This….couldn’t be real.
He gave the strand a good tug and decided that was…well, real enough. Perhaps it was shameless vanity, but he suddenly felt a great deal more sick and frightened than belligerent.
In a last ditch effort to make this all go away and bring back normality, he met Jan’s eyes and swallowed hard.
“In all seriousness. I think this has gone far enough. You got me, very amusing. This is my laughing face, really. Joke’s over now though.” Trying for self deprecating, he gave a slight smile. “There are many pranks one can get away with but really, messing with my –hair- crosses the line.”
Perhaps he could have sounded a bit more resolved if he really believed this was all a joke. Sad when the best case scenario was that this was a prank with a malicious edge, even worse when you didn’t think this was going to turn out to be best case.
Holding out his hands in a ‘no hard feelings’ gesture, even though there certainly –were-, he wracked his brain for alternative explanations for this mess.
[Thaddeus, please tell me what's going on.]
He looked down at the desk absently trying to think of some way to get to his non communicative lover. What if Thaddeus was being held and did not want him coming after him for fear that it was a trap for him? Surely Thaddeus would have told him something else...unless he was occupied with whatever was going on around him.
Then there was an answer...of a sort. They would have this conversation out loud? What the hell did that mean? Surely he'd know if he had made Thaddeus angry, wouldn't he? Thaddeus was bonded to an empath who had no idea what the hell was going on! How often did that happen? Alfarinn found he disliked being completely in the dark.
[I'll accept that answer when you tell me what's going on and that you're alright. Because personally I'm not believing the latter for a second.]
Knowing he had to do something, he called to the computer.
"Mari, ring the Manor for me. I need to talk to an Anantya."Â?
He waited as the computer began to dial the number for the Anantya Nachton residence, listening intently for any signs of an answer from Thaddeus. He could cancel the call if his lover was safe and sound, otherwise, he preferred to be more safe and paranoid than sorry.
"I'm pretty confident because I've seen you together several times. I wasn't aware that vampires could contract Alzheimer's but you've got my vote for the first case of it."Â?
Normally he'd be glad to know that Thaddeus thought he should have made an impression but at this point he was just becoming annoyed. Standing up, he gave the blonde one last long look. Thaddeus did seem truly upset and if he pinched his nose one more time the thing was likely to fall off.
He looked up to see the other man look him in the eyes; a calm, if somewhat impatient,pair pale green stared back.
"What the hell are you talking about?"Â?
Thaddeus had short hair when they met and somewhat longer hair at the ball. It was longer still at present. There was something really wrong with the guy and he was beginning to believe it wasn't all in Thaddeus' head.
Jan stood up straighter and looked around the room for signs of someone else. Turning back to Thaddeus, he lowered his voice to a near whisper.
"You really don't remember me? And you don't recall that you haven't cut your hair in months? Look, will you please try and trust me here when I say I am a friend. I think we need to figure out what's going on."Â?
He'd start there and hope for the best. Then perhaps he could convince the blonde to leave the museum.
He blinked hard at Jan’s next statement. Then it was as he suspected – this stranger was in the know, one way or another. The Alzheimer’s crack paled in comparison to that knowledge.
Then the voice returned, using his name this time and sounding frighteningly insistent. He waited for his mind to quiet before responding, and sent evenly and slowly. It would seem that this voice could be reasoned with, and while normally he might stubbornly refuse to converse in a way he was –really- not comfortable with, he thought he could answer in good faith that the voice would hold to his agreement.
[I don’t entirely know what is going on, but I believe I am relatively unharmed.]
He wasn’t certain how much more was wise to say – this person might be a little rattled by a dangerous mistake or he could be deeply unstable. After a moment’s hesitation, he added a fairly neutral comment.
[You sound very worried.]
Perhaps that would be an opening to something, though it could just as easily cause him to react defensively. Mental negotiations for his own bloody mind, wasn’t that perfect.
Meanwhile, Jan was apparently quite serious in his belief that he was nuts. Better and better.
“Alright. I –really- don’t remember you, or a boyfriend, or this sudden neglect of my hair. You say we’ve met and it would seem you know a little bit about me. You claim my hair hasn’t been cut in…months…my god…but the evidence suggests you are correct in that. I could also concede to the idea that the person who –isn’t- spontaneously bleeding and having sudden violent headaches might have a slightly more accurate view of matters.”
He actually looked just slightly annoyed at having to admit that, but he recovered quickly enough.
“In any case, it would seem evidence does not exactly support you being the responsible for whatever…is happening…” At that he trailed off, as he finally had to face the implications of the evidence. He –had- to look at the possibility that he was going completely mad. In that case, this could all be a delusion of his own making. Or, he could have literally forgotten months of his life.
Well, if this was a delusion, it was still the only reality he had to go by and he would just have to take the same actions he would anyway. Equally frightening was the idea that he had somehow lost time in his life.
Mulling over all of this for a moment, he slowly walked over to the bench and sat back down, his elbows on his knees.
Hell. He was going to have to stand for something. If he was crazy and completely wrong headed then so be it but he had to, once again, act on faith.
“I don’t think I’m crazy.”
He looked up at Jan for a moment, daring him to contradict that assessment before continuing.
“I don’t know what has happened here but I do believe there is an explanation for this.”
Something hit him in that moment with a wrenching shock, and he added a question in a nervous rush. “I really was involved with someone? Someone who might be worried about me?” That concept strained credibility but if Jan had been right about meeting him, and right about his hair, he might be able to make sense of the third, but certainly not the last, piece of the puzzle.
"Cancel the call, Mari."Â?
He might still need to speak with the Anantya but first he could find out more from Thaddeus. The last thing he needed was to have to split his attention between several worried Anantya asking him questions and a less than forthcoming Thaddeus.
The next sending floored him. Alfarinn made an incredulous snort, disbelieving he heard correctly after feeling a very afraid lover on the other side of the bond. His first thought was to wonder if Thaddeus had been hit on the head but the very real possibilities of that being the case made him decide to be more patient. This was the man he loved and something was very wrong. Sighing, he tilted his head up to stare blankly at the ceiling.
[More than a little, Beloved.]
Alfarinn still had no idea where Thaddeus was, what caused the initial pain, what had his compaion worried, or if anyone else was with him. The best thing to do was to start with the obvious.
[May I inquire as to where you are and if Palmer there with you?]
Had they been separated? Was Palmer alright? He waited slightly more patiently for an answer this time, trying to send something calm and soothing through the bond between them. It was difficult when he was frightened himself but Thaddeus had said he was alright; Alfarinn clung to that statement.
[I'm here and we'll get through whatever it is together.]
"Really it looks good on you; though it was quite nice short as well. I'd say you couldn't go wrong either way."Â?
Waiting as the blonde reasoned out the whole situation, Jan simply listened and nodded. There seemed to be no one in this exhibit but he hadn't noticed Thaddeus come in so who knows whether someone was lurking just outside.
Instead of getting up to leave, Thaddeus sat down on the bench. At least they seemed to be making progress in a social sense.
"I don't think you're crazy either. I will admit to not being entirely certain there for a bit but you really don't seem to remember this stuff."Â?
Jan sat down on the bench next to Thaddeus, careful to leave some space between them lest there be a backsliding of trust.
"Yeah I'd agree there is an explanation. Quite frankly I'd say someone has mucked with you somehow. I don't know anything else that would do this."Â?
Jan grinned sideways at the man next to him. There was no doubt in the world that something was not right if he couldn't remember his own partner.
"Yeah, I'd guess he'd be worried sick about you if you've been missing for a while. And you really must not remember if you've forgotten someone who looks like that."Â?
He sat back and looked at Thaddeus.
"So what do you want to do now? I suggest leaving here."Â?
Unfortunately, once they had those things established there weren’t many places to take their thoughts that were more specific than ‘mucking’.
Then the voice sent again, using terms of endearment and still coming off as quite concerned. And although this voice being completely benign made everything that much more complicated, he was beginning to seriously consider it. Jan’s answer only confirmed his suspicion.
He immediately repressed the part of himself that brightly wondered what his boyfriend looked like, and put his face in his hands. This was –horrible- - not only was he going to have to tell someone he supposedly had a relationship of some kind with that he didn’t remember him, but he was most likely going to lose a significant other before he even realized he had one. How in the hell did one explain this sort of thing?
Well, at least the voice was taking this slowly. He could answer simple questions until he figured this out.
[I am at the Arch. Palmer is not here with me, but Jan is.]
Why Palmer would be with him he had no idea. Was his friend in town now? If so that was actually quite a relief. –Should- Palmer be with him? He supposed he would find out if this question was cause for concern; there was enough on his plate that he couldn’t fully extrapolate every single oddity. After a moment he lifted his head to speak to Jan, feeling some sort of explanation was owed.
“I know this isn’t going to help my ‘I’m not crazy’ defense but I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that I’m dating a Sender?” He blinked at his own statement and spoke in a tone of realization. “An –Evenhet-.” Quickly, he added “ah, no offense…I’m just surprised…” to that remark and sat up straight to think over Jan’s suggestion.
“I think you hit the mark with your suggestion that I’ve been…’mucked with’. To me that would imply that someone wants my attention and it doesn’t make sense that no one would approach after the fact to make an overture.” He frowned, then added. “Either that, or this person wants the exact opposite and is willing to wipe out other memories in order to make me forget them. In any event, I think you are right – it seems that the responsible party is not going to come forward to make demands at this time and it would be best to get out of here.”
“It would help if I had any idea of where to go.”
The voice sent once again and Thaddeus felt a sick twist of guilt. This was clearly a good man – how he ever managed to end up seeing him was a complete mystery – and he couldn’t remember him. It seemed strange to be so concerned over someone who, to his knowledge, he’d never met, but he was about to inflict something he wouldn’t wish on –anyone- and felt terrible for it.
He sighed heavily and raked his fingers through his (long!) hair.
“Look, I’m not going to get anywhere with this mess until things with my…boyfriend…are resolved. He’s very worried, he’s wondering where I am and who I’m with and, hell, I’m wondering –who- he is.” He fell quiet for a moment before standing up from the bench and looking to Jan. “I appreciate your help – I know I didn’t make it easy. If you could tell me where to find my significant other I think that would be a good place to start. He might even have more information on what happened to me, how long I was missing, who my enemies are…”
[Okay, do you wish me to come get you?]
Please? Or something. The rest of the statement finally hit him. He was with Jan? Thinking back, Alfarinn placed a face to the name. Short, slight, dark hair and something of an obnoxious friend. Why was he with Thaddeus? Was he responsible for what happened? It didn't seem likely; perhaps it was prejudiced of him but he would lay money that Sorin was somehow to blame. Jan and Sorin didn't seem like a likely match up in the trouble causing area. Still...
[Okay...why is he there?]
He did feel much better know that it seemed they were getting somewhere with an explanation and perhaps it was his imagination but Thaddeus seemed slightly more calm as well.
"Don't know his abilities but its possible. Though..."Â?
This was a puzzle now. Wouldn't Nova be interested to know that her favorite boy toy was a vampire? Evenhet were the only ones with senders but something didn't add up.
"How...or when did he contact you? And hey, you're the one dating him and that's cool by me but I'm not Evenhet."Â?
Jan grinned but then went back to what he was saying.
"See you didn't send first since you don't seem to be Evenhet then I'm feeling pretty safe in betting your aren't a sender. So... your friend sends to you just after you got hurt...doesn't sound like a sender to me unless he's somehow psychic."Â?
Normally he would suspect a trap of some sort with the amazing timing but he had seen Thaddeus and Alfarinn together more than once. The tall blonde always gave the impression that the last thing he'd ever want to do was hurt the man Jan was standing in front of. So if not a sender and not exactly a 'psychic' because who really believes in those? then what? There were abilities that some of the clans had in common and one in particular that Evenhet and Tacharan shared might explain the situation. But if he was right...
"If he had bonding and you two were bonded then he'd know you were in trouble. He'd feel it and you should be able to feel him in return. That seem likely?"Â?
Jan waited for an answer figuring that Thaddeus' little crazy head grabbing episode had to be a pretty big blip on the 'something's wrong with my lover' radar. So if he was correct in his guess then Thaddeus was likely to feel his boyfriend's worry.
He looked at Thaddeus somewhat wistfully. Someone loved him enough to be bonded to him for eternity; what was that like? To care for someone that much and to know they cared for you. To belong, to never be alone. Thaddeus was blessed....though currently he had issues that seemed to making up for the 'true love' advantage. Damn those flaw requirements...
He nodded in agreement at the reasoning behind messing with Thaddeus' mind.
"Yeah, my guess, since they made you forget is that you learned something, saw something or did something that someone thought you should forget. If that's the case then perhaps they aren't here and have fled the scene of the crime... or maybe they are hanging around to make sure it worked. I don't know but either way, here isn't looking favorable as a place to hang out."Â?
Standing up when Thaddeus said he wanted to find Arin, Jan waved his hand in a follow me gesture.
"Come on. I can take you."Â?
Nodding to indicate that Jan was right in his assumptions, he frowned at the conclusion he drew from them.
“Or it’s possible he couldn’t reach me for a time and has been sending frequently until he could get through.” He thought that explained matters rather well, but then Jan came up with another theory and he bit down on his lower lip, considering the possibility.
How utterly insane would a person have to be to bond themselves to another, feeling what they felt and sharing their thoughts? It was crazy, he was certain of that, but the question was would he do it anyway? He’d always thought he understood himself so well but this possibility brought up questions that his mind had no ready answer for. Was he capable of such a relationship? He valued his mind above everything else (yes, even his hair). Could he share that so completely with another person? Yesterday (or what passed for yesterday in his mind) he would have said he just wasn’t that sort of person. That some people just didn’t have the capacity for that, and he was one of those people.
It wouldn’t be so terrible to be proven wrong.
“I don’t know about likely. Possible, yes.”
How did this work? He tried to focus and separate out his own feelings, tentatively reaching out with his mind, searching for a presence. Doubt entered his mind and the moment was lost, though.
He and Jan were thinking along similar lines and he was quite grateful when it was decided that they would leave to meet this....person he could possibly be bonded to. The implications of that were still overwhelming. He wasn’t certain of the specifics of that particular ability but he had thought it was a permanent state. To him that meant that one way or another they were going to have to make this work – his significant other wouldn’t be able to easily walk away from this…from him. He wasn’t sure of how he felt about that. Guilty, he supposed, but in some ways he wondered if this had been their intent. That they had bonded so in case anything should happen, they would always have each other. In that sense they were being smart and planning ahead. The logic of that thought in the midst of all this overwhelming and emotional information was reassuring, though he wasn’t certain it would make explaining any easier.
For a start, he focused on sending.
[We’re going to come to you, alright?]
With that, he followed Jan’s lead, asking questions as they walked.
“Thank you. Should I call for the limo or is he close by? I don’t even know his name…is there anything you can tell me about him?”
It would appear that he had overestimated Jan’s knowledge of him but it seemed better to focus on what his new/old friend –did- know. Perhaps they weren’t yet well acquainted and he hoped that he hadn’t revealed anything that Jan shouldn’t be aware of, but what his mind really stuck on was the fact that this person who didn’t even know he was Anantya had stopped to help when he saw there was trouble. That was beyond decent of him. It amused him a little to think that perhaps he had been especially good at some point he could no longer remember, if he had a caring boyfriend and friends willing to help him out of a difficult situation.
He went back to sit in his chair and pondered the message Thaddeus had sent. They were leaving together and Jan was helping to sort things out? Alfarinn brutally squashed the feeling of jealousy and suspicion that arose. Jan had been far more polite the second time they had met and Thaddeus had told him that the conversation between them had gone well; there was then no reason to assume Jan was after Thaddeus. Besides he doubted hitting someone over the head was a part of dating 101. Alfarinn would take the situation at face value until he had a reason not to; Thaddeus was hurt,Jan found him, they were trying to sort something out.
The sending that they were coming to him was a relief. He would try to be patient and wait.
[I'll be here.]
"I suppose that's possible but that would mean you've been out of it for some time for someone to start worrying....which I suppose could be true."Â?
It would be hard to tell with a vampire, but he knew that Thaddeus had definitely not been out for months because he had seen him within the last few months.
As they made their way out of the museum, Jan smirked at the thought of a limo.
"No, Uptown, I'll drive."Â?
He clicked off the alarm to his truck and unlocked the doors. Gesturing for Thaddeus to get into the passenger seat. Jan shrugged.
"Its no limo but it gets a person where they need to go."Â?
Climbing up and into the truck, he started the engine and buckled the seat belt. He could answer Thaddeus' questions about his boyfriend while they were driving. Briefly he wondered if Theo would be home and if she'd mind another surprise visit.
"He's not terribly far. Hmm, what can I say about your boyfriend? My sister has a crush on him... I'm guessing he's Evenhet now that you mention it. It makes sense but a wise person does well not to assume, you know?"Â?
However, it seemed that Thaddeus had not been surprised by senders and the thought of people messing with his mind. Though the blonde had seemed quite alarmed that his boyfriend was an Evenhet which made Jan wonder. He had never seen Thaddeus amongst the ranks of Tacharan (what an amusing thought!) It didn't seem to be a huge mental leap to decide that Thaddeus was likely an Anantya by the mannerisms and the reaction to the other clan. It was possible that he could be clanless and surprised to find he was in a relationship with someone from a clan but that seemed a lot less likely since Evenhet would probably have no trouble taking in a new member.
"I just didn't give it much thought at the Masquerade Ball. Should have, I suppose. Anyway, he's blonde, about the same colour as your own. Its long though."Â?
Jan took one hand off the wheel to give Thaddeus and indication of where Alfarinn's hair came to before turning back to watching the road.
"Quite tall. I'd guess Six foot five to seven. Its hard to say since most everyone is taller than me. Hmm, oh, name. Arin Bjorn. What else would you like to know? I'll see if its within my knowledge to answer but don't expect much. We haven't been long time friends."Â?
He did have a wealth of knowledge from Nova but how much of that was accurate. Smirking, Jan added.
"His favorite colour is blue and he loves to sail."Â?
He willingly followed Jan outside to a rather large vehicle, looking around as he made his way to the passenger side. The world didn’t look any different, he observed, though he was generally oblivious to matters of popular human culture these days. When he was younger he had enjoyed ‘the scene’ but now he preferred the comfort of home and his own kind. And yet somehow he had met an Evenhet. Perhaps that had been work related – the two clans did have to come together once in a while.
Climbing into the truck, he gave Jan a slight smirk and admitted that “Considering I don’t drive one mode of transportation is just as good as another to me.” He shrugged slightly “So long as someone else is operating it.”
Jan assured him that it would be a short trip and began telling him a bit about this mysterious voice in his mind. He nodded in understanding when Jan mentioned not wanting to assume but stayed quiet, eager to hear more.
Hmm, long hair. And tall. He supposed physical appearance was the least of it but that was as good a place as any to start. From what Jan had said earlier, he’d landed quite a catch in the looks department and further details only proved his point.
In the midst of trying to form a mental image the name Bjorn passed through his head and brought his thought process to a screeching halt.
That could be a coincidence. Bjorn was a common enough name…well okay it really wasn’t but if overlaps like that were going to occur Evenhet was a likely place. Arin Bjorn wasn’t necessarily intimately tied to Megan Bjorn.
God, if he was though…just what had he gotten mixed up in? This was getting more complicated by the moment. Had they both completely lost their minds? It wasn’t as though (as far as he knew) Evenhet and Anantya were warring, but interclan relationships were a risky proposition. Someone was bound to get hurt. Someone was bound to try to exploit their relationship. And if Arin was in a high powered position in Evenhet, that would only compound matters.
What did Mai think? He felt a pang of anxious need at that thought and wished very much that she were here. The thought of her being disappointed in his choices was so unbearable that he couldn’t bring himself to think on that any longer. He tried to think on Palmer instead – his friend might be in town and that would be good news. Even with that positive thought, though, his mind kept straying; he’d thrown himself off thinking of Mai. Perhaps he should have asked to see her first to ease his mind, but he didn’t think he could make his partner wait any longer.
Dazed, he looked out the window for a moment before speaking in a subdued tone. “You said you’ve seen us together?” He worried at his lower lip, feeling almost embarrassed to ask. The question was liable to make everyone in the car uncomfortable. “Did…did he seem happy?”
"Yeah, I am pretty sure the name is Bjorn. I've heard it often enough...usually accompanied by wistful sighs."Â?
It wasn't just Nova, she would never sigh dreamily...at least not within his ear shot; there were plenty of girls within his apparent age range as well. Even one of his band members thought Arin Bjorn was just the sexiest sweetest bad boy ever... or something like that. Jan couldn't figure out how a person was sweet and bad at the same time but whatever being a teen idol was a good gig if you could manage it.
The ride was almost over; he could see the Towers rising high into the night along with the other buildings that made up the Nachton skyline. Thaddeus' question had to be the most touching thing he had heard in a while. Jan thought to himself; the guy really was a keeper. It would seem Arin was quite blessed as well. Thaddeus skipped most of the self interested questions like status, wealth, appearance, his own interests and wanted to know whether he was making his lover happy.
They came to a stop light and he turned to look at his passenger.
"Yes, he looked happy. I'd say very happy. I don't know why I'm admitting this but I suppose you'll eventually remember it anyway. Our first meeting wasn't the best. I flirted with you and a friend of mine and I were..hmm less than polite about the both of you. Your boyfriend kept a cool head through most of the bantering that took place until it looked like you were upset with us. Anyway, my point being in dredging that back up is that he's a good guy and he cares about you."Â?
The light changed colours and it was a good thing. All this revealing felt like confession to him and he was sure he was pretty close to admitting how envious he was of the pair. The armor of angst and apathy only worked well with shallow people who didn't care to have real conversations or look much further than the surface of a person.
Looking back at the road, Jan spotted the parking deck that he used when visiting the Towers in the past. Keeping his eyes straight ahead, he spoke quietly.
"You deserve each other."Â?
He then busied himself with finding a parking space.