Your Hypocritical Oath, Part II: Confidentiality (private)
Amir wasn't about to be caught off-guard by Xephier one more time. This time he simply waited outside the clinic until the good doctor decided to call it closing time for the night. He'd learned one important lesson on his previous visit; Xephier put a great deal of stock in public image. He had to, given his family and his, well, side job.
As Xephier closed and locked the door, not noticing Amir where he stood cloaked in the shadows of the small alcove, the vampire smiled to himself. Xephier turned and Amir moved into the light of the streetlamp.
"Late night, huh?"
He had the pleasure of seeing Xephier's surprise. It was very subtle; the wolf didn't shock easily. Clearly he'd been preoccupied though, or Amir wouldn't have gotten the jump on him.
That mismatched glare bored into him, but Amir simply leaned insolently against the wall, arms crossed over his chest.
"You have some information for me, don't you?"
He held his hand out expectantly. "I'm not going to wait forever. You've had plenty of time."
Turning, he wished they were anywhere but on the corner of the street right on the strip. Instead of reaching out and cracking the vampire's skinny neck he felt himself nodding in compliance - and he hated himself for it just as much.
"I have it. There's not much there."
It wasn't a good feeling, having used all his formidable resources to dig up private information on a guy he liked and got along with. Everyone had skeletons in their closets. Xeph didn't want to know what they were, in some cases, and this had been one of them. Nikhila had told him something that had made him cautious and reading about Kem's work and home habits hadn't made him feel any better about what he was trying to deny.
"What's the matter, didn't like what you found?"
Amir smiled to himself. Xephier's natural dislike of vampires would make this job slightly easier. The less Command Amir had to use, the better. He needed Xephier controlled, not brainwashed into jello like his father had been.
"We're just everywhere, aren't we? Tough to get away. Especially when you breach a contract and play in our sandbox instead of yours."
It was said with a sneer. Had the wolves remained where they were supposed to, Amir would have had no quarrel with them. But let them stay in the city and sooner or later they would begin to grow, and each new wolf was one less vampire meal. That was unacceptable.
His hand remained out and his dark eyes dropped to the case in Xephier's right hand. "Either you have what I came for, or you don't, in which case you have a very short time to get it."
He felt a brief pang of guilt. He liked Kem, and Aishe. As people went, they'd seemed like good sorts. But he had a duty to his Pack and to protect them he had sold the two out. He didn't know why the jackal wanted this information, why he'd had Xeph obtain it for him. He would have preferred not to give it up, but this silu had his balls in a vice - figuratively speaking.
He slid the folder from the side of his laptop bag and thrust it at the deceptively young man's hand.
Xeph tried to ignore the vampire's barbs. He just wanted to get this meeting over with.
"That wasn't so bad, was it?" He flipped quickly through the papers in the folder just for the sake of appearance. "I hope you kept your copies safe and sound. You'll need them soon."
Amir tapped the top page in the folder, which had a picture of the Meridian logo. "And, of course, I'll need you to put a man on the inside."
At Xeph's expression, Amir laughed. "Surely you didn't think I'd risk one of my own?"
"A man on the inside?" he growled. "How am I supposed to do that?"
Even as he said it he groaned inwardly. No mental command had been used; he was simply being manipulated. Of course there was an advantage to having a Kadzait inside a vampire-run industry. He had a slight "in" with one Clan already, and this could give him another even if he was bleeding the information into what he suspected was the third.
He sighed even as he considered it. He needed to gather information through more avenues than he currently was. Xeph didn't delude himself into thinking things were going to get any smoother.
"Fine. I'll work on it."
Was he really agreeing to this? What the hell was wrong with him?
Xephier's expression was anything but. Amir had nothing else to say though; he'd gotten what he wanted for tonight and he'd given a homework assignment. You could train an old dog, after all!
Tucking the folder under his arm, he glanced up at the night sky. His smile faded as he looked back to Xephier.
"And I would advise against trying to clue your friends in, if I were you," he warned, giving the folder a little shake to indicate who he meant. "This is our game alone. They don't need to know the rules just yet."
He smiled softly at Xephier. "Full moon soon, hmm? It's almost unfair. So big and strong and vicious... but you lose your head so easily when she's out."
Amir shook his head. "I'd hate to run across more of your little 'family' this time around." His voice dripped with false sincerity; he couldn't help baiting Xephier. "Of course, I might be forced to defend myself. It would be terrible, wouldn't it?"
It was a threat, slightly veiled. If Xephier stepped out of line his Pack would pay the price. The wolves had a very great weakness during the full moon... many, not all of them, but many of them, lost their heads and their good sense. A pack of capable, dangerous fighters was easily distracted and scattered. A lone were was easily picked off.
If Xephier wanted to avoid that, he would follow Amir's direction very closely.
Amir shrugged at Xephier. "Well I guess we'll see, won't we. Thanks for the good work," he said, flipping the folder over in his hands. "I'll be in touch."
With an arrogant little salute, Amir turned his back on the wolf and strolled out onto the strip, headed away from Xephier's clinic and back into the seething mass of downtown Nachton's humanity.
Work done for the night - now it was time for fun.
((ooc: Amir out))
Time to be sneaky. The vampire could do it, Xeph could do it. Yes, he'd laid command after command on Xeph, but Xeph could get around some of them. It would mean being trickier than he'd ever had to be before. It might mean pissing off some people he didn't want to, and it might mean allying with some people he didn't want to...
But Xeph wasn't going to let the vampire win. The veiled threats, the references to his father - he was starting to understand a lot more than he ever had when he was younger. He wasn't Liam. He wasn't going to give in. He was simply going to change his strategy.
He nodded to himself. It would work. In a roundabout way maybe but he would figure it out. First he had to talk to a few people. The more compliant he seemed to be, the easier it would be to catch the vampire off guard. Just go along with him for now... and then attack when he isn't suspecting it.
Yes, that would work nicely. Patience, Xeph.
((ooc: Xeph out))