This just wasn't playing out at all how she had assumed when Giovanni had dumped that box in her lap. And frankly Val wasn't pleased. She would have been happy to leave the whole thing alone, just hold the damned box until Giovanni or some one he sent came to collect it; but that just wasn't in the cards apparently.

The folks that wanted the box weren't playing by the rules either, which just frosted her. Not only had they gone after a human, she had to assume these were vampires they were dealing with, but they'd gone after one that didn't know a damned thing. Someone who wasn't in the game, and they'd gone in swinging too, no warnings. That was just low.

It wasn't something Val would typically worry about but she did rather like Julian. They hadn't seen each other since parting company at the Long Bar but she felt a little responsible for him. She also felt a little cheated. Even though they hadn't been dating and Val couldn't say he'd left her heart broken, it was a bit like having a toy taken away from you before you finished playing with it. So she was being a little bit more aggressive than she'd planed on.

Pulling in a favor she'd gotten the flash drive decrypted Val had a bit more of an idea what this was all about. Not great, but a bit. Enjoy that she was willing to push her luck and rattle a cage or two. She'd been keeping half an eye on Julian, hoping to catch a glimpse of whoever was keeping tabs on him and find out who to fire back at. Soon enough she'd found a fit trim brunet with greenish eyes, Val started watching the watcher. After a couple of days she decided that he wasn't running the show. He lead her back to who Val could only assume was her 'sibling'. She kept eyes on him for a day or two before deciding on the direct approach..

She quietly followed him into the library one night. It kind of amused Val that no matter how how tense or even possibly explosive this little chat would get that they'd have to keep their voices down. He was sitting at a table with several books opened around him. She simply walked up to him, pulled out a chair and sat down. When he looked up she gave him a bright cheerful smile.

"I do have a voice mail. You didn't need to leave such a personal message.”

Val's words were totally at odds with her expression. It was a shame they were starting out on the wrong foot, he was goo looking. Olive skin, dark eyes and the sort of body that looked hot in a suit. He also wore wire rim glasses, but she was willing to bet that was an affectation, not that that bothered her, it looked good on him.

"I dislike phone calls and text messages, they are terribly impersonal.”

His voice was deep and rich, almost melodic and she mentally rolled her eyes. Of -course- even his voice was sexy. It didn't change her course of action though.

"So you just come out swinging instead of leaving a note. What the fuck do you want so bad?”

Direct was just easier, she didn't feel like dancing around the issue. And given the raise of his eyebrows that wasn't what he'd expected either, which gave her a warm fuzzy feeling.

"Don't you think we should do introductions before accusations?”

He answered calmly.

Valentine 11 years ago
Val openly groaned and rolled her eyes at the guy. That was a Giovanni move. It was a stupid, presumptuous, stall tactic. She really hated it.

"Yeah we could do that but first, can you tell me do we all get a stick up our ass as we age or were you just born that way?”

"You aren't terribly polite are you?”

"I never claimed to be.”

"I always thought Giovanni had odd taste.”

"He has the good taste not to randomly rough up people who aren't involved.”

'At least most of the time.' Val thought to herself. There were exceptions, there were always exceptions in this sort of enterprise. This time, however, the exception had impacted her, she hated that.

"Perhaps he should have thought of that before involving you. Would you rather we go the more direct route next time?”

Forgetting her surroundings for a moment Val laughed loudly drawing a few disapproving looks from other patrons. She didn't answer the question though, they both knew it was rhetorical at least she was taking it that way. Asa would stand a good chance of winning, but he'd know he'd been in a fight.

"Honestly I think you're just disappointed I'm not as rattled about this as you'd hoped.”

She smiled a fangy smile as he only nodded in a non-committal manner and Val continued.

"So what exactly is the big deal about all this? I have never been one for research and you know Giovanni, he doesn't often do detailed instructions.”

Having no idea what Asa knew about her Val thought it best to at least attempt to play on her youth and possible ignorance of the situation. At least back in the day women were kept out of the dealings and specifics. It was reasonable to assume Asa would think it possible that this still held true and that Giovanni hadn't told her anything and she had been a good girl and not peeked.

"He can be very precise when he chooses to be.” Her dark haired brother answered smoothly. "Why don't you just give me who I want? Life would be much simpler.”

"What's in it for me?”

It was a blunt question. And although she had an odd blind loyalty to her maker, Val truly did wonder what this was worth to Asa. It had to be a pretty penny if he had started with physical violence and intimidation tactics.
Valentine 11 years ago
The man she assumed to be Asa and one of Giovanni's other offspring, they had skipped introductions after all, paused and looked thoughtful for a moment or two. Apparently he was seriously considering if he could just buy her off. It wasn't a bad idea and practical on a number of levels, so Val didn't blame him. It was a move she would have tried.

As he thought she took a few liberties and looked at the books he was glancing through, even going so far as to pick one or two up and look at the cover and skim a passage. It seemed to annoy him, and she was okay with that. When he did answer it was a bit vague.

"That all depends on what he left you.”

That was a fair answer and so Val answered the question without hesitation.

"A flash drive and a hat.”

She rather deliberately left out the key. That she wanted to keep for herself. Val also might have left out that she'd made a copy of the flash data and would be keeping that.

"What's on the drive?” He asked sharply leaning intently forward.

Shrugging Val feigned indifference and leaned back in her chair and started fiddling with a pencil someone had left on the desk.

"I'm not sure it is encrypted and I'm no computer whiz.”

That was the truth she'd had to have someone else do it.

"And you haven't had someone look at it?”

"Really? You think -I- am going to get some random outsider to look at Giovanni's business?”

It wasn't exactly an answer, but it seemed to be the right tone as Asa's shoulders relaxed and he also leaned back slightly in his chair.

"What are your terms?” Asa inquired coolly.
Val gave him a sly smile.

"You leave the human alone and you make it worth my while. You're the one who knows the value of this information, but we both know how much it will cost me when Giovanni finds out.”

As far as she was concerned she had the upper hand here. And while a picture was starting to form and Val had some idea how much this should be worth she couldn't really set a price without tipping her hand.
Valentine 11 years ago
Again Asa leaned back and lapsed into thought. No doubt this was something Giovanni would have liked about him, the man didn't leap before he looked. As he thought about it Val looked at the books he was reading a little closer. All non-fiction, some about gangsters, some about Chicago, New York, all vaguely historical, nothing touristy or sensational.

"Nostalgic for the old days?"

She asked, almost absently as he was still thinking.

"You have no idea about the old days."

Asa answered blandly, but it made Val look up. What she knew about Asa was fairly limited. This limited information was becoming something of a theme and it was making Val irritable. One of the things she did know was he hadn't spent much time in Chicago in the 20s. He didn't hang out with Giovanni, she didn't think he'd been in with The Outfit. The trick was that The Outfit was one minor and modern cog in a rather large and old organization. The odds that Asa had been playing the game for a long time, were good.

"I've never liked history."

She answered doing her best to sound bored and dismissive. It must have worked, that or Asa had finally worked out how much to offer without over paying. It was enough to make even Va blink, and she was used to large numbers and big deals. It was also enough to make her sure that she shouldn't give the drive to Asa, not even still encrypted. For all she knew Asa had written that code, although maybe not. If Giovanni had tossed it to her she was only one line of defense. At least, she hoped that was the case, if not her maker was in more trouble than the guy Asa was after.

Val stood indicating she wasn't interested in his offer and ready to leave.

"Give me some time to think about that. You're not going any where are you?"

Anger flashed across his features, and that wasn't entirely unexpected. It even made her feel rather good, she'd gotten to him.

"You have no idea what you're playing with little girl."

He practically growled at her. Val just turned her back and started to walk away, but she paused to add something.

"I'll think about it and get back to you. Paws off the human in the mean time. Enjoy the city in the mean time."

Asa didn't follow her, there was no dramatic confrontation. Old vampires could be no fun at all, they could be so hard to irritated, to ruffle. But it was probably for the best. Val got outside the library, did a quick scan to make sure she hadn't been followed and once satisfied she was alone made a quick call to Tai.

"Hey lover, I think I'm going on a field trip. Want to come?"

Chicago at the very least. Given the books Asa had been looking through it could be a lot farther she just hoped they didn't have to leave the country. Customs was such a hassle.

((OOC... out))