Asher was almost giddy when Jason walked into his office to inform him that Elisabeth was waiting for him. She’d come! Alright, so he had used bait and used it well, but she had come. Somehow, that made him happier than it should have.
Taking a deep breath, a blonde vampire cleaned his papers off his desk and tidied it the way he always did before calling it a night. He would not rush around like a headless chicken only because he felt a strange and inexplicable fascination with the tiny blonde waiting for him. Then he left his office with measured steps, knocking on Damien’s door before making his way into the living room.
She was looking directly at him long before he stepped out of the shadows of the tunnel leading to the private rooms. Whether she could see him or feel him wasn’t important, it was impressive. At least if you didn’t know what slumbered beneath the young and weak façade of her body.
“Miss Summers,” he greeted, carefully.
“Asher,” she responded, not giving him anything, but not taking anything either. Damien slipped into the cavernous room as the last note of his name faded. She gave him a nod in greeting and, surprisingly, the smallest of smiles.
There was a moment of silence before she asked, “You said you had something for me?”
Asher nodded. “Oui. Damien has recognized the runes on your back and translated the first few of them.”
Her gaze flitted briefly to the redheaded vampire but ultimately, landed on Asher again. “And why did he do that?”
“You said you did not know what they mean. You have to admit that it is no wonder we were curious.”
Head cocked to one side she seemed to consider his words. Seemed to consider whether she would accept them or look for nefarious purposes. Then her cool green eyes landed on a slightly fidgeting Damien and she repeated, softer this time, “Why did you translate the runes?”
“I felt the need to,” he answered, voice small.
She sighed, shoulders dropping as she made a rude gesture heavenwards with one hand. “Jerks,” she hissed, but there was no heat in it and she was clearly not talking to anyone in the room.
As she turned back to them, Asher raised an eyebrow. She shrugged, looking a bit sheepish. “They
gave me this tattoo, one rune at a time. My back’s been itchy for months. And they made him
,” she pointed at Damien who made an effort to stand still, “feel the need to translate them. It’s their version of an inter office meme. Only, they like things a bit more dramatic.”
It took a few moments to sink in that she was talking about God as her employer. Boss? It seemed ludicrous. And yet Asher had felt her power. Deciding to go with the tide and not ask too many questions lest he put her off, he dug a folded sheet of paper out of his shirt pocket and held it out to her.
Slowly, she stood and reached one hand out to take what they all knew to contain the translation even if no-one said it out loud. Then, suddenly, her hand jerked back and she shook her head.
“Band aid,” she said suddenly.
“I beg your pardon?” Asher asked but Damien seemed to understand in that quiet way of his and turned with a nod to leave the room.
“This is not complete, right?” she pointed at the translation in his hand. He nodded.
“Then I’d rather wait until Damien can translate it all and read it all in one go. Like a band aid. Fast and painful.”
“You seem sure that this,” he waved the sheet slightly, “Is bad news.”
She opened her mouth to answer just as Damien slipped back into the room, armed with paper and pencils. He gave her a questioning look and received another one of those quick smiles in return before she turned and deftly pulled her shirt over her head.
The tattoo was large. It started a few inches below her shoulder on her left shoulder blade and sloped down past the middle of her back in a graceful arch, one line of runes right under the other. The bottom looked red and new while the top seemed older and completely healed.
From a distance the multitude of tiny black runes would undoubtedly take the shape of a wing. A single, folded black wing on the milky white skin on the back of a girl who was in truth something else entirely.
“It always is.” She offered, oblivious to the spellbound way both vampires stared at her exposed back and tattoo.
Damien set to work.