The door opened with a swoosh
and a gentle tinkling of bells as Asher and Damien stepped through. Inside the restaurant slash bar looked pretty much like the outside, there was a hay barn theme going on and the music was too country for anyone’s tastes. Still, there seemed to be a lot of patrons.
Exchanging a look, the vampires shrugged almost at the same time and picked a booth a bit off the beaten path, leaning back, patient enough to wait.
Elisabeth showed up surprisingly fast, one eyebrow cocked in question. She was wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt that seemed too warm for the room. The cleavage was big enough to ensure a good tip and her hair held out of her face by a messy bun. She looked like a million other teenage waitresses all over the world, except for the way she carried herself. No regular waitress had this much grace, moved so fluidly.
“Since I’m guessing you’re not here for the steaks, I’ll just ask: How the hell did you find me?”
Asher snorted delicately. She was very direct. Almost as much so as Anita. After centuries of playing court games, he could not help but find it refreshing in both women.
“We work for the Master of the City. There is not much we cannot find out, ma chérie.”
Her eyebrow lowered slightly as she pulled a small notepad and a pencil from the pocket of her apron and asked, “So, what’ll it be?”
Before anyone had a chance to say more, a teenaged boy about Elisabeth’s age came to a halt next to her and muttered in her ear, “Lizzy, that’s my table.”
She gave them a professional smile, asking them to hang on for a moment, before turning to face the boy and hiss low enough for the human patrons to not understand, “One, call me Lizzy again and I will
hurt you. Two, you can have number seven. These guys are mine, si?”
Asher perked up at the last word. It was either Italian or Spanish. Coupled with the girl’s strange mixture of American and British English, he was almost sure she must have spent a lot of time travelling around Europe. Another piece to the puzzle and another question to ask. The boy took off fast, a scared look on his face and Elisabeth turned back to face them, flashing Damien, who looked vaguely amused, a quick smile.
“You gotta order something if you want to stay.” She didn’t seem apologetic.
Asher ordered a glass of wine and Damien a hot chocolate, to the blonde’s amusement. “Back in a sec,” she offered, before spinning to go place their order.
As she did, Damien’s head snapped up suddenly and he stared at her retreating back. The other vampire spun to see what had his companion so startled but didn’t immediately zero in on the tiny black runes that were visible above the neck of Elisabeth’s shirt on her left shoulder blade.
Then the blonde was gone and Damien scrambled for a pen and a napkin to copy a few of the runes from the girl’s back. Asher watched him quietly, wondering what was so special about the tattoo. Unless, “You can read the runes?”
The red head packed away the napkin and pen before shaking his head no. “I recognize them but I cannot read them. They are very old. They were almost forgotten when I was a boy learning from the village mage.”
Another head shake, “The mage always told me they were the original runes, the ones all others were derived from. I find it interesting that she has them on her back.”
He wanted to say more, just like Asher wanted to ask why he still remembered them after a thousand years, but Elisabeth came back with their drinks. Placing them on the table she pulled out a chair and slumped into it. “I got fifteen minutes. Why are you here?”
Asher cocked his head to one side, careful to keep his scars hidden and returned a question with a question, “Why are you not angry with us?”
“You gonna go away if I’m mean?”
She smiled, “Well, there you go.”
That seemed to be all she was willing to say on the subject. “We are merely curious. You left much unsaid during your visit at the Circus.”
When he got no reaction, the blonde vampire pushed further, “How old are you, for example.”
She grinned at him, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear. “Old enough to remind you that a lady never tells her age but not old enough to be really peeved by the question.”
There was a definite lull in conversation after that, until Damien asked in his smooth calm voice, “Your tattoo is interesting.”
Automatically, her hand went over her shoulder and pulled her shirt a bit higher but once more, she said nothing so the vampire kept going.
“What does it mean?”
She shrugged. “How’d I know?”
Asher blinked, confused, “You do not know?”
“I didn’t exactly get the tat. It was…given to me. No-one asked my opinion on it.”
She nodded, tugging on her shirt once more before abruptly climbing to her feet. “Well,” she said, “I don’t know about you, but I gotta pay the rent somehow. Drinks are on me. Bye.”
She was gone before either vampire could come up with anything else to say. Needless to say, they were both even more curious than they had been before their visit.