Thursday, March 31, 2011

After hearing testimony from many of the regulars, Adrian sits back and closes his eyes for a moment. To one who does not know him as Thea does, it looks like he's nodded off; but Thea knows that this is his way of sorting through the mass of facts that have been presented to him this evening. He sits lost in thought for about ten minutes, then his eyes open wide, though his face remains impassive.

"There is one of whom I have heard much this evening; I would speak with this Nikolas" - pronouncing it Knee-ko-loss -  "if he is available."

Thea goes off to make inquiries; and less than five minutes later, she returns with Nick in tow. His face is hard and expressionless as he gives Adrian a quick once-over. They lock eyes and one can sense them sizing each other up; then Adrian gestures, breaking the deadlock.

"Please… sit. I would speak with you of my brother and his servant. I would know the facts about those things that you have witnessed."

Nick's voice is hard as well. "If you've spoken to more than a few people, you know what happened. I don't know that I can add much more than you already know."

"Let me hear it anyway, and I will draw my own conclusions."

Nick is uncharacteristically reticent as he describes the events of that night, so that Adrian has to ask more questions to draw him out. His skill as an interrogator is such that he soon knows that Nick never liked Rath, even before the incident of the broken glass. When the questioning is done, he has bled Nick dry of every fact and nuance of fact he has, and some that he was unaware of himself.

Adrian leans back into his chair. "Thank you for your time, sir." He smiles a little crookedly. "I like you, Nikolas. You do not like Rath, yet you - what is the phrase? ah, yes - you bent over backward to be fair to him." Then he astonishes the younger vamp by saying. "Would that Rath were more like you, or that you, and not he, were my brother."

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