Tattoo Book 7 part 2.6
Posted by harmony0stars on May 11, 2011
“Pervert,” Steiner muttered, stalking back to his chair.
Jack’s eyes widened with an expression of surprise and… delight? “Why, agent Steiner!” he said with a peculiar high-pitched laugh. “Have you been reading my file?” Steiner stiffened, his fists clenched at his sides.
“Jack…” Maria said in a warning tone. He actually flinched as she took a step in his direction. “I’m a witness to your provoking Miss Lewin and Agent Steiner. You know I don’t care how you conduct your personal life, but Ms Lewin is not a civilian you can sweep off her feet after you’ve made her swoon. And I doubt she’s going to be impressed if you and Agent Steiner battle for her honor either. Do you want me to tell your handler you need some time off?” The way she emphasized the last, Maria clearly meant something quite different from vacation.
Jack gave Maria a cool stare even as he backed away to the door. “I hardly think this is the same as White Chapel at all,” he replied in a sulky voice. He scanned the room with a disdainful glare before turning on his heel.
Glory opened her laptop and brought up notepad. /Are you alright?/ she typed.
Phoenix was slow in replying. Technically she didn’t need to type to communicate with him, nor did he need her to even open the laptop to communicate with her, but it beat zoning out in a room full of people. /Fine/ he responded with implied sulk. I know what you thought, he sent privately. I was only defending myself. I don‘t like this. I‘m too vulnerable in this form. I want that hammer.
Tough, she thought back at him. The hammer obviously wasn’t working. It‘s the computer or nothing.
Redfield peered over her shoulder curiously, missing their mental exchange entirely. “How’d he get in there?” he asked curiously.
“By a strange and unlikely series of events that I am not ready to disclose in mixed company,” Glory said, snapping the laptop shut.
“Yeesh, sorry I asked.” He straightened up.
“No, really… it’s complicated,” she said, “and I don’t trust your girlfriend.”
Maria pouted. “Here I thought we could be friends, exchange trade secrets on vampire hunting.”
Glory blinked at the little woman.
“Maria’s the last in a long line of vampire hunters,” Redfield explained.
“Missed one,” Glory said, still angry about Jack, the energy siphon.
The little woman flushed slightly. “Look, I’m sorry about that. He’s more or less harmless now that he’s been recruited. Jack plays by the rules or he goes back in his box. You’re honestly safe as Coutt’s around him.”
Glory opened her mouth but had nothing to say. As much as she loathed the man, being put in a box sounded ominous and wrong. Still, he’d mentioned Whitechapel, and she wasn’t stupid. If he was that Jack, as in the Ripper, she didn’t care how safe Maria said he was. He obviously wasn’t.
“So, back to business, then?” Maria said lightly as if nothing untoward had happened at all.
Glory leaned into the arm of the sofa as the woman planted herself between her and Redfield once more. Jack was a piece of work, but Glory was beginning to like Redfield’s girlfriend even less than the vampire, if that was possible.
Steiner sighed. “Look, we’re not here on official business. You can check with the Colonel. We’re on our own time, helping out our cousin. Just like she said. It doesn’t matter that he wants to recruit her. At the moment, she’s here to do some historical research that might end up dangerous. That’s just what she does with her free time.”
“Yeah, look Maria.“ Redfield nudged his companion. “We would have gone through the proper channels if this was official business; haven’t we always? But it’s not. The old man recently tracked Glory down like he’s done with all of us, but so far she‘s not interested. Since she hasn’t got any close family, she asked us along. The old man gave us permission to tag along without pay, a gesture of good will. End of story.”
“Dangerous historical research? In Islay?” Maria snorted. “You’ve obviously never been there.” She shook her head. “That doesn’t explain why you did a runner or booked time in that hovel.”
“Because this is exactly the kind of meeting we were trying to avoid,” Steiner replied. “If the colonel does hope to get her to join us, running into you guys while on vacation isn’t exactly going to win him any brownie points.”
“Thanks for talking about me as if I’m not even in the room, guys,” Glory groused. “No one would guess we’re only distantly related.”
“Right, so where is this dangerous research to take place, then?” Maria asked, trying to keep a straight face.
“Kildalton,” Glory grunted, adding, “Rhaonastil,” as an afterthought.
“Ooooh,” Maria said dramatically. “That sounds scary. I should tag along to make sure the queen of the fairies doesn’t get you.”
“Absolutely not.” Glory scowled at the floor, holding her computer to her stomach and not even glancing at Maria.
“Wasn’t a request, dear,” Maria said brightly, capturing Redfield’s arm in a possessive hug. “I hardly ever get to see Trev. Not going to pass up a chance while he’s not on business.”
“Well,” she said in a huff, “the place I booked to stay is very strict on the arrangements. I can’t just add you. And… and there’s only two bedrooms and three beds. I don’t think Mike is going to want to share with you and Trevor even if I can get the owners to modify the reservation.”
“I could sleep on the couch or something,” Steiner offered. He chose not to meet Glory’s glare, but he was lucky she didn‘t have laser vision.
“Well, there. You see? And if money is the issue, I can pay up for whatever the cost of an extra person is…”
“No, money is not the problem,” Glory snarled, furious at Steiner and Maria, and even Redfield though he’d kept his mouth shut. “Can I use my phone, or will I get rushed by super agents fearful for the security of Britain?” Ignoring Maria’s answering grin, Glory pulled herself to her feet. She tucked the laptop under her arm and fished her phone out of her pocket. “Just don’t expect me to make room for Jack,” she spat, stalking away to the bathroom and slamming the door on Maria’s mad giggling.
to Book 7, part 2, page 7