No Return

"He truly placed commands on his own daughter?" Mahesh had been staring blankly out the small window and into the night sky but now he turned his gaze toward Hana.

"Yes, that's what I've heard." A sour expression of disdain coloured her beautiful features briefly and then it was gone. "It would explain her odd behavior of late. She is normally...out of date in some of her choices."

A smile crept onto Mahesh's features at the careful wording that his companion chose. She was always so thoughtful, precise and delicate. That part reminded him of his late wife of many many moons ago but Hana was strong like a fine steel cable. Mahesh had seen many underestimate the geisha over the years.
"So she has changed her style of dress and this has convinced you that she is being commanded by her Creator to forget his location or how to contact him?"

Hana came and settled herself next to him, sitting delicately on the edge of the work bench. "Not just that. Her behavior is most telling. All reports of Claire and the few times I have met her suggest a more quiet retiring personality. Lately she has been very outgoing. It is a complete change."

He grunted a soft sound of understanding and she continued. "She has been flirting very heavily with a member of the Rose. I can't imagine what reason Sorin would have for that directive but it is interesting."

Mahesh glanced at her once more, seeing her features carved out in profile by the moonlight. He then returned his regard to the view out the window.
"Perhaps he has something similar in mind...but not quite the same." Mahesh wanted Morrigan dead, not out of any hatred for the woman but for her role in the ending of the war. Her death wouldn't serve any strategic need for Sorin though Mahesh knew there was an old rivalry between them. Sorin could just be making sure that his enemy died before he did. That was something Mahesh could understand.

"You know once you've killed Morrigan there is no going back. Ever." Hana laid a hand on his arm. "I know that they hunt us now but it is a arrogant lazy hunt." He felt her turn so that she was more fully facing him. Mahesh resisted the urge to do the same. "The Elder of the Rose though...that threat they cannot ignore. We could walk away, Mahesh..."

"I cannot." He said simply and heard her sigh beside him. If there was another person on this earth that he loved, possibly as much as Margosha, then it was Hana. He hadn't planned on it, had fought against it, but it had happened all the same. Mahesh wished he could give up this mad quest and simply hide away somewhere with her, Shelby and his daughter. They could live an almost normal life. But that would make him someone else. His vow was one of the view things that reminded him of his values, of who he was and what he held most dear. If he lost that then he would lose himself. Mahesh had seen vampires younger than himself lose their humanity, slip into madness and have to be put down like a rabid dog. Some people would already see him as a monster for what he was doing but it was the death of a few. If he lost himself then Mahesh could not imagine how many might die. If he lost Hana...the world would be awash in blood.

"Getting close to her will be difficult."

"Not as difficult as you might think." Mahesh could feel Hana staring at him but he did not say more. The Elder of the Rose was a cautious woman. Her most trusted assistant was nearly as old as she was and completely deaf. Morrigan went very few places without an escort, seen or unseen. Getting to her would seem nearly impossible but he had managed already, after a fashion. He could have killed her, perhaps several times over but he had not been ready. As Hana mentioned, once Morrigan was murdered the hunt for him would truly begin in earnest.

He had hoped to take out the rogue Knightsman before Morrigan so that she would be the completion of his task. However Sorin was already hiding from his entire clan. He had taken precautions against anyone finding him. Mahesh only hoped now that the clan would take care of that problem for him. They had far more resources on their side than he did.

"We will begin soon."