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Deja Vu All Over Again


I have been posting on Fanfic.net lately, but have decided to also continue posting on lj as well. This is set directly after the ending scene of A Nosferatu's Tale.
Simeon is mine, everything else is Rein-Hagen & Joss Wheden's.

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Warm. He was warm. The swarthy young man with the curly black hair had forgotten how good warmth felt. It had been so long since he’d felt that sensation.  He snuggled deeper into the comfortingly secure depths of the grey leather sofa he was lying on. His hands pulled the woolen blankets closer to his body. A soft sigh passed through the young man’s partially opened lips.

                Where was he? The man’s heart was pounding as memories took shape in his gradually awakening mind. NO! A sword ran through his body.  Strength was draining from his body along with his blood. He was so cold. Mal, he’d betrayed Mal to that goram Parliamentary Operative!  The one with the stupid obsession with an ‘honorable’ death:  the idiot. Dead was dead and if he couldn’t warn them in time, his friends would be dead too. 

                Lenore, he had to get to Lenore. Oh, he already had. He was sure he had? Yes, the young man remembered programming his lovebot to warn Malcolm Reynolds about that damned Operative and about the broadcast generator hidden in the bowels of the young man’s worldlet. Let the Cortex spread the word of what had happened to the people of Miranda. The ‘verse needed to know and his generator would spread that information to the farthest corners of the human ‘verse.

He was alive. Strange, the curly haired young man was sure he had been dying. Maybe Serenity’s crew had reached him in time. Maybe he was in Serenity’s sickbay.  Mal had found him a gonzo Inner Worlds doctor for his boat.  Or, maybe it was a trick that psychotic Operative was playing on him. Wherever he was, the young man did not think this was the heaven Shepherd Book had talked about. He tried to slow his breathing, footsteps were approaching.  Breath shallow: breath shallow.   A chant ran frantically through his mind: I’m dead: I’m dead. There’s nobody here but a dead man. Go away … Go away. 

The steps had stopped. He felt the surface he was reclining on sink as, beside him, a mellow tenor voice said calmly, “I know you are awake, childe. You can open your eyes and, by the way, you are not dead!” 

Eyelids rose slowly as Mr. Universe cautiously peered through the barely opened slits. Those eyes blinked and widened as, startled, his body jerked in surprise. What was sitting by his side? The curly-haired young man had never seen a person more devoid of color than the one sitting beside him. Albino - so, they really did exist. He’d always thought they were some Outer Worlds’ folk-legend, but he had one sitting beside him and, there was concern on this one’s face. Mr. Universe was sure that concern was directed toward him. I wonder who he is. He, the albino that is, was a he and ‘he’ appeared to be about Mr. Universe’s age - maybe a bit younger. ‘He’ had black eyes too. Mr. Universe’s eyes narrowed, face scrunching up, as his head tilted slowly to his right - long, dangling, pointy (?) earlobes. The tips of the guy’s ears were pointy too. What had happened to the man? Had he fallen head-first into a rice picker? Safety protocols on the outer worlds were, at best, in name only. By now, Mr. Universe’s head was touching his right shoulder and his sofa-mate’s lips were twitching. Those black eyes deep-set into the pale, hairless, somewhat square head were dancing with good humor. The Cortex geek was certain he’d never seen this man before.

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Black -eyed Albino? Education today, humph …: Simeon Stephanopoulos’ sniff was audible only to himself. … Or, in the kid’s case, it’s the lack of structure. The Primogen of the Inner Worlds’ Nosferatu had never been impressed with the current state of education in his world. Outside of the Inner Worlds, schools, even as he had known them in his youth, no longer existed.  Universal education did not exist in the time and place he now occupied and had not existed since before humanity had left Earth-That-Was, much less universal, free education. The young man destined to have a hell of a crick in his neck if that head of his stayed lying on his right shoulder much longer had just provided living proof of that.

In some ways, Simeon was more impressed with the achievements of the twenty- something man staring at him out of dark, narrowed eyes, than he was with his own achievements at a similar age. Simeon Stephanopoulos highly doubted that the younger man had had an Uncle Petros to guide and direct his studies, or to even introduce him to the intricacies of this time and place’s equivalent of the Internet Simeon had known and cheerfully manipulated in his long vanished youth.

By now, the Nosferatu Primogen’s lips were twitching steadily. His prospective childe had absolutely no shields and the man’s thoughts were both loud and highly entertaining. Tilting his head to the left, Simeon trapped Mr. Universe’s gaze with his and, raising his head, watched the younger man’s head follow suit. Using their locked gaze as a link, he slid his mind into the mind of his ‘guest.’

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            There was another presence in his mind, soothing and calming his fears. Mr. Universe felt his body relax into the grey leather of the overstuffed sofa he was sharing with the black-eyed man. Nothing seemed so bad now, including the memories that had disturbed his awakening. He was calm, the pillow beneath his head incredibly soft and supportive, ready to listen as the pointy-eared guy beside him threw back his shoulders, sat up straighter and said with pride, “I am Kindred: Clan Nosferatu, Childe of Daedalus, Kindred Prince of the Outer Worlds. I am the Primogen of the Inner Worlds’ Nosferatu and Enforcer to Julian Luna, High Prince of the Kindred. I’m also older than I look. You may know me as Zorba.”

            Zorba?!  Zorba’s been on the Cortex since before I was born. “You cannot be Zorba! I know flimflam when I hear it,” Mr. Universe snapped, all wounded indignation. Uh-oh: that smile on his face is way, way, way too mischievous for my comfort. The younger man barely had time for the thought to make it into his brain before he felt the barrier between their minds thin and his vision was drawn into those black eyes. Within a breath, he blinked as the older man released his gaze.  Eyes wide, he said breathlessly, “You are Zorba.”

            “Yes, I am, just as I have used other names over the years but, my true name, the one given to me by my parents when I was born, has always been Simeon Stephanopoulos.”

Oh, the thoughts in this one’s head. Enthusiastic, talkative and somewhat lacking in social skills: No wonder he reminds Frank of a younger me. Mr. Universe - We have to do something about that name - there are too many Kindred who still remember Earth-that-was and its body-builders. Arnold Schwarzenegger this one is not. I know my Nosferatu too well. With a name like that they will never take him seriously, especially the older ones. I can just hear Camilla now “… and where is your belt, childe. Simeon shuddered.

The Nosferatu’s mental ramblings returned to more serious contemplations. Universe doesn’t have the shields I did at his age. Note to self: teach him shields and keep him the hell away from the Cortex without me there supervising him every second. He’s at least as sneaky as I ever was and Daedalus only had to worry about pissed off Kindred Clans-Folk with me. His overconfidence in his ability to keep his information diving in the Alliance’s pond damn near led to his death. The Alliance believes their leak dead and they don’t need to think any differently.

The Kindred Clans will demand his head if he starts poking into our businesses. I no more want Julian Luna disappointed in me than his childer do. At least they only have to deal with their sire. After he finishes, Julian will sic Daedalus on me and, oh god, I don’t want to even think of what Camilla will do if she finds the kid in her affairs.

The Nosferatu threw back his head. Hearty laughter burst from his mouth.  Where does the kid get these ideas? “I was not plucked from underneath a cabbage leaf, childe. I was born to human parents just as you were and I was later chosen by the Kindred. I was twenty-three when my sire embraced me into the Kindred.”

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This time when those sparkling eyes caught his, Mr. Universe met them willingly. When ‘Zorba’ extended a hand, the younger man took it, allowing himself to be pulled into a sitting position next to the ‘Kindred.’ “Kindred - What are Kindred? Can you tell me about them and why are your ears so long? Do all Kindred look like you? You said something about Julian Luna. Isn’t he one of those old- name plutocrats from the Inner Worlds with more money than anyone else in the ‘verse and doesn’t he eat Independent babies for lunch???” Mr. Universe ran out of breath just as Simeon burst out with a hasty interruption.

Déjà vu indeed, even down to the irrational fear of Julian Luna. It’s so nice to know I’m providing Frank Kohanek with tons of amusement. The man’s probably laughing his head off with the High Prince. Hell, Julian’s probably laughing by now - in a dignified Ventrue way of course. 

“Julian Luna is the High Prince of the Kindred. He is the final authority for anything concerning the Kindred. He is also a fair and just man. Unless you are planning to embrace someone without his permission or against their will, break the Masquerade or otherwise flout his authority, you have nothing to fear from him. He doesn’t know what I’m talking about.  “I’ll explain the terms I just used later, but for now all you need to know childe, is that Julian is not going to eat you.”  Well that appears to have settled him. He’s bouncing up and down. If it wasn’t so obvious the kid can’t get his questions out fast enough, I’d have him in the nearest bathroom before he lost all bladder control. I wonder what’s going to come out of his mouth next. Oh, no you don’t. There’s no way I’ll give you that information before I know I can trust your discretion. In your case, that’s probably not going to be for at least ten years. Surprise me, Kid.

“The last time we waved on the Cortex you gave me some info on the Oatie Bar symbol. How’d you get it? Can you show me how?” Mr. Universe’s hands were waving, wildly gesticulating, eyes silently pleading as his words flew so rapidly off his tongue that the Nosferatu Primogen threw up his right hand and said, his voice a mixture of laughter and exasperation. “Childe, Childe, I will explain everything about the Kindred to you. Starting with who and what we are. The Cortex tips can wait. My sire is definitely laughing his ass off over this. You are everything Daedalus could ever have wished for in a childe of mine. You’re so close to me as I was when my sire embraced me - you’re the perfect fulfillment of every sire’s dream of poetic revenge. I am going to have fun protecting you from yourself. Fortunately, your mind can’t keep anything from me and your face isn’t much better at keeping your thoughts and feelings secret. Ignoring the sour pout on the face of his prospective childe, the Nosferatu Primogen continued mildly. “The Kindred are an ancient and secret race. We were all human once.”

 Mr. Universe was staring - his eyes opened so wide, Simeon was amazed the kid hadn’t started blinking. Those eyes had to be drying out by now.  With the briskly burning fire in the marble-lined fireplace, and the dry fall weather, the humidity in Julian Luna’s study would have had any human resorting to eye drops ten minutes ago.

A chill ran through the Cortex geek’s entire body as he stared into the older man’s face. He talked of Earth-that-Was as if he actually walked upon it. Unconsciously, the young man leaned closer to Simeon. In spite of the wonders of the room they were presently occupying, he didn’t want to miss a word coming out of ‘Zorba’s’ mouth and those wonders were pretty wonderful.  The intricately inlaid wooden floor, wooden panels, the exquisitely designed and obviously expensive chairs, desk and tables, not to mention the grey, butter-soft leather sofa they were sitting on. The leaping, crackling flames of the fireplace were a treat as well. Mr. Universe couldn’t help himself. He took deep breath after deep breath of the burning wood. It was wonderful.  The sheer amount of ‘stuff’ in the room was incredible. Was most of it from Earth-that -Was? God, he hoped Mal never found this. Mr. Universe liked the man, but these people were so far out of Mal’s league. Mal would never find out about this from him. He would not be responsible for his friend’s death.  The young man did not realize how much his last thoughts encouraged the Nosferatu beside him.

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Maybe it will be only five years before I’ll trust him with one of the smaller Cortex secrets. Now he’s wondering how old I am. Older than any hills on any world in the ‘verse, kid, but I’m not telling you Earth-that-Was bedtime stories. Yeah, Julian’s place is impressive and you’re overwhelmed by all the information there is to process. There will be plenty of time for you to study Julian Luna’s paintings after I embrace you, but right now you need to listen to what I’m saying before I can get you to the point where I’ll trust your answer. No multi-tasking allowed at this point. Extending his right hand, Simeon casually tapped the younger man’s cheek. “Would you like to take a break, before we continue?” I thought not. The Nosferatu Primogen nobly restrained his smile at the eager disclaimer from, what he was sure would be, his third childe, “… and yes, my name is Simeon and I would not have given it to you if I didn’t want you to use it.”

The human leaned closer, making sure to keep eye contact. Uni did not want Simeon to stop again. This was too interesting. So, the Kindred feared discovery. He could understand that. Look what the Alliance had done to the Outer Worlds during and after the War of Independence and those were their fellow humans. Even before the war things hadn’t gone well. That was why there’d been a war. The poor were seen as barely deserving of anything but exploitation - and they were severely discouraged from visiting the Inner Worlds. Mr. Universe nodded. Yes, he could understand wanting to preserve your life and the lives of your people. He understood duty, obligation and the keeping of secrets. He hadn’t been able to avoid drawing Serenity into a trap, but it hadn’t been because he’d shouted his knowledge to the ‘verse. The man took consolation from the thought that he doubted Malcolm Reynolds fell for the trap. Serenity’s Captain was one of the most paranoid people in the ‘verse, which was why Lenore had been programmed to guide Mal to ‘Uni’s’ backup broadcaster.

Simeon is right. All groups do have their good, bad and indifferent members. Mal is good, so is Zoe and the rest of Serenity’s crew, even that goram homicidal maniac, Jane. Mr. Universe hadn’t met too many other humans he’d count as ‘good’, most had been indifferent at best and he wouldn’t trust any Alliance personnel further than he could toss one of their ……… cruisers.

The young human sighed. Simeon was winding down. So far the ‘Kindred’ had treated him better than almost any humans had. They had been nothing but kind to him so far. He was warm, clean and, above all else, he was alive. Now Simeon was asking him if he wanted to be embraced. Yeah, he’d seen that coming. All those secrets Simeon had talked about, Mr. Universe could be coolly rational when the occasion called for it. People with those levels of secrets could not afford loose ends. Mr. Universe had no doubt that his ‘host’ would calmly, capably and painlessly perform what the Nosferatu Primogen would see as a distasteful duty. The human also didn’t doubt that his would-be sire would regret doing so and the young man had no intention of forcing the Nosferatu to perform that duty. Mr. Universe wanted to live and he definitely wanted the teaching and the knowledge that would come with the embrace Simeon Stephanopoulos was offering him. No hair, pale skin, and funny earlobes were a cheap price to pay for a long life in which to enjoy and appreciate that knowledge.

The human met his soon-to-be sire’s eyes and said firmly, “Yes, I want you to embrace me.” I hope he does it soon. I want it over. I’m sure I can trust him, but this will be the second time I’ve come close to death in the last month. I want an embrace, but I don’t know how long I can take waiting for it. Before that last thought was completed, the soon-to-be Nosferatu was lying supine, his head carefully positioned so that his neck was resting over the sofa’s arm. Simeon’s body was pinning him to the sofa and the elder Nosferatu was whispering in his ear. “You’d probably be more comfortable in my haven, but we can do it here and now and, if you will allow me, I can take most of the fear and dread away.”  Upon verbal receipt of his childe’s consent, the Nosferatu Primogen reached up and calmly turned the man’s face toward his and, catching the younger man’s eyes in the process, moved swiftly into the soon-to-be Nosferatu’s mind. 

Mr. Universe barely felt Simeon’s fangs slide into his throat as the Nosferatu began the embrace that would turn him into the Inner Worlds newest Nosferatu. He was too busy listening to his sire’s mental whisper. “Yes, Childe, there are actual sentient females who will not only pay attention to you, they will seek you out. Nosferatu are all geeks and we’re as interested in the opposite sex as any other being. You don’t need someone can’t talk back and I am truly glad you’re willing to alter your name. I’ll tell you about the original users of the Mr. Universe title later.   


Simeon: A Nosferatu's Tale Pt. 15


Frank Kohanek, one of the two Archons to the High-Prince of the Kindred, laughed as he stood looking down on the young man lying on his Sire’s couch. “Julian, it’ll be like déjà vu all over again,” he said as glanced over his shoulder at the nearby fireplace. His sire was standing, right shoulder leaning casually against the end of the mahogany inlaid mantle. There was a cheerfully crackling fire laid on the hearth. Frank sniffed appreciatively. Cedar and apple wood were his favorites.

Julian Luna, High Prince of the Kindred, and Prince of Londinium, watched with thinly veiled amusement as his second eldest remaining childe smirked in anticipation of the coupe Frank was about to pull on his friend. I’ve been well served by my childer. It’s not often a non-Nosferatu can out maneuver and out sneak a Nosferatu. I’m proud of you Frank. I knew you would make a fine addition to my family, our clan and the Kindred. You make a fine Yenta too. Julian briefly contemplated the wonders and joys of serendipity as he waited for the Nosferatu Primogen to join them. After discussing the future of their ‘guest’ with Simeon, he planned to retire to his library with Frank to hear the rest of his Archon’s report.

“Ah, there you are.” Julian Luna pushed away from the mantle and went to greet his oldest, and closest, friend’s childe. “Come in. Would you like to share a glass of wine? Frank brought a bottle of the ten-year-old Bordeaux from your vineyards on New California back with him. We have a threat to the Masquerade to discuss.” As Julian was talking, he was also steering his guest across the well polished age-darkened oak tiles of his floor. Stopping at the foot of the silver-grey leather sofa the Prince pointed to the slender, swarthy, black-haired young man, with the riotous curls, asleep on his couch. “As a human, he’s a walking, talking Masquerade breech waiting to happen. He would also be a valuable addition to the clans if he could learn to contain his inappropriate curiosity, without that restraint he could be a danger to us. The only way I can let him live is if he’s embraced and, for me to allow that embrace, I need a Kindred I can trust to protect, control and contain him while they teach him when, where and how to exercise that curiosity of his. Do you have any suggestions, Simeon?” Julian asked, head titled to his left, right eyebrow raised in question, and with a voice as smooth and earnest as silk.

Simeon stood still, staring down at the blanket wrapped figure lying on Julian’s couch. His head rose. The Nosferatu looked to Julian on his left: He looked to Frank on his right. Bookends - both were standing at opposite ends of the divan - and both were smirking at him. Oh, he didn’t doubt Julian was serious when he said the young man lying on his couch had to be embraced or die, but he knew Julian would do everything in his power to persuade the cortex geek to consent to an embrace. He also didn’t doubt that both of the Ventrue smirking at him from their ends of the couch were insufferably pleased with themselves. He ought to recognize that emotion. Daedalus had often teased him about his own tendency toward smugness. Simeon watched with mild bemusement as Frank Kohanek’s mouth opened. I wonder what’s going to come out of it.

“You’ve been missing yourself lately. So … I thought I’d bring you yourself.” Frank stated innocently as he waved a hand at the peacefully sleeping Mr. Universe.”

“If he agrees to accept your embrace, you have my permission to embrace him.” Julian stated as, with a nod of his head, he indicated for Frank to precede him out the door. “We’ll be in my library if you need me.”

As he was walking out the door, Julian turned back to say, “Oh, before I forget. Once he becomes your childe, would you please see to it that if he wants a mate, he finds one amongst the Kindred - No ‘Lovebots.’ We don’t need someone who can only relate to something that can’t talk back.” The corners of Julian’s eyes crinkled as his lips rose into a broad grin. “Congratulations, Simeon. Both your sire and I have every confidence in you.” Nodding, he turned and left, leaving the stunned Nosferatu staring down at his, hopefully, soon-to-be childe.

Simeon thought, as a brilliant grin slowly spread across his face, I can do this. I know he’ll want our knowledge and I know he’ll enjoy our life. Having intelligent females who will actually enjoy talking with him won’t hurt either, but I still won’t forget those who tried to destroy him and I won’t stop until they are no longer a threat to him or any others of our kind. Hands of Blue indeed.

Simeon: A Nosferatu's Tale Pt. 14


Transporting troops and weapons is a fuel thirsty business. As grave as Julian’s thoughts were, he could still appreciate the grim humor in Simeon’s last comment. Humanity’s collective tantrum may give us time to plan a way off this planet, but we need to survive first and we need humanity to survive as well. As the humans say, can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

He’s winding down. Julian and the remainder of San Francisco’s Conclave watched as Daedalus’ self-possessed childe walked confidently back to his chalkboard, turned and finished, saying, “… and since Luna House has become harder to defend, I recommend the Clans move to the Presidio. It was originally a military base.” With a wave of his hand, the Nosferatu indicated the man in the grey tailor-made suit standing calmly behind the Ventrue Primogen. “I’ll turn the floor over to Frank now.”

Frank’s eyes flickered to his left to meet Julian’s. With a barely perceptible nod his sire, and Prince, signaled his agreement. Stepping back from Sonny, the Prince’s lead investigator moved to join Simeon at the chalk board. Frank calmly plucked the chalk from the Nosferatu’s outstretched hand before beginning. “Jeremiah Mosely has emerged as the winner in the Blue’s leadership squabble.” Before continuing, Kohanek’s eyes met in turn those of each of the Kindred seated around the mahogany table. “As we all know, he’s the most violent and territorial of the five contenders; unfortunately, he’s also not stupid. Frank’s eyes flickered briefly to his sire’s face before he turned to focus on the Brujah Primogen, Cameron. The voice of the Prince’s second eldest ‘son’ and primary investigator was as bland as the man’s facial expression when Frank spoke. “Perhaps the Brujah would like to share their insights into Mr. Mosely’s character. He has met, several times, with their Primogen.”

 

 

                        Eight Hundred and Thirty-Five Years Later

 

The sheer beauty and brilliance of the multitudinous lights of the city sparkling below reminded him of lost San Francisco. Too few of those existing in this time remembered that city, even amongst the Kindred. The no-longer-young Nosferatu was indulging in a bit of melancholy before he had to attend to his Prince. Another potential breach of the Masquerade:  wonderful.  I wonder what Frank’s bringing in this time. It’s been how many years since the Wars for Independence and Frank still has clean up duty. He’s keeping secrets too. All he said in his last wave was that he was bringing me a present. Sneaky shit. I can’t find out what it is. The Miranda scandal has taken over the Cortex and my informants have all discovered the joys of amnesia when it comes to Frank.  He must have my sire on his side.

Simeon paused for a moment of reflection. One of his Cortex buddies had been lost. He’d been keeping an eye on Mr. Universe for years: The young man would have made a fine Nosferatu, but the damned Alliance had destroyed a potential childe - his potential childe. Mr. Universe had to be dead. No Operative of the Alliance would have left a witness to their atrocities behind, especially one who had the ability to hack into all the ever so precious secrets of the Alliance politicos and bureaucrats.   Simeon would remember, and he would find, and destroy, the ones who had destroyed what should have been his. The younger hacker had still had a lot to learn about subtlety, Simeon would never be found on the network he and his protégés had helped to found. Nosferatu alchemy still had its uses and applications.

The Primogen of the Inner Worlds Nosferatu snapped his fingers. It was time to stop these melancholy thoughts. He was content with what he now had, but this place had none of the wildness, wonder and magic of vanished Earth. The ‘wild’ areas on this world had all been carefully situated and painstakingly planned when this giant space rock had been terraformed centuries ago. He missed the chaos of Earth-that-Was. Here, he knew where every bush was planted. Hell, he’d even planted some of them. That lilac to his right, the deep reddish-purple one, the one just over the crest of the next hill, beside the entrance to the path meandering through High-Prince Julian’s carefully tended sixty-eight acres of forest. The stocky, bald-headed man had planted the bush the night his sire had left to become Prince of the Outer Worlds. Daedalus had asked his childe to remain with the High-Prince and Simeon had dutifully complied.

Faint echoes of distant shuttles and air cars could be heard in the clear, still air. As the echoes became less they caught the attention of the Nosferatu Primogen. If any human had been watching, Simeon would have appeared to fade into the shadows under a nearby spruce. The Nosferatu’s head swept back and forth as his eyes scanned the skies, searching for the approach air car. Around him he could feel the interest the approaching transport was arousing from Julian Luna’s Gangrel and Ventrue bodyguards. Simeon grinned, pointed incisors peeking through the gap between his parted lips. There was Camilla’s childe, Cora, standing in the shadows beside the entrance to Julian’s forest. He could depend on the sheer nosiness potential of his Nosferatu - they wanted to know what was going on. He could also depend on their loyalty to him. His brood-sib Gemma and her mate Padraig were standing at the forest’s edge and he spotted others nearby. Bless Julian Luna and his Prince’s paranoid landscape artists. There were plenty of places for a Kindred to conceal their presence.

A few moments later, Simeon laughed. It was Frank Kohanek. He recognized that flight pattern. All of Julian Luna’s people had their own identifying patterns and some of them, including Frank Kohanek, had several. This one was Frank’s, ‘I’ve got something interesting’ pattern. The Nosferatu wondered what his friend had brought. Even Julian Luna had been almost insufferably pleased with himself for the last week and a half. They’re in it together, all of them, my sire, Kohanek, and the Prince. Simeon was a bit annoyed. I should have been able to find out what they’ve been concealing. No Nosferatu liked mysteries, at least not the ones he, or she, couldn’t solve. I can’t see him bringing me a new vintage from the Outer Worlds. We both have far more taste than that. Well, since Archon Kohanek went to so much trouble to surprise me, I suppose I shouldn’t keep him and our ‘good’ High-Prince waiting.

Simeon: A Nosferatu's Tale Pt. 13


Most of his alchemical equipment had come from his sire as well, but Simeon had scrounged his own bed, he thought he’d managed to politely refuse the cot he’d used when he still lived with his sire. He’d also scrounged the computer desk. Yup, I’m still the best dumpster diver in the city.

            “… and still the smuggest one in the city.”

Simeon turned to his right. His sire was standing in the doorway to his inner haven. A brilliant smile lit the younger Nosferatu’s face as he hurried to the doorway. “Daedalus: You are welcome in my haven. Please, enter freely.” He gestured toward his only wing-backed chair. The one he’d made sure to scrounge up for whenever his sire might choose to visit. “May I get you some wine?”

My childe is a childe any Kindred could be proud of and I thank whatever creative force there exists in this universe that I can finally leave him to his own devices without worrying if he’ll go snooping where sensible Kindred fear to tread. At least I can be confident that if he does, no one else will find out unless he wants them to. His shields are impervious to anyone except me. He’s done well.  Daedalus’ feelings of pride and fondness for his childe showed in his voice and eyes as he settled into the wing-backed chair, looked up and said, “Thank you for your hospitality, Simeon. I would be pleased to accept your wine.”

Simeon smiled with pleasure as he went to fetch a bottle of the port he’d been saving for the last thirty years, ever since Frank Kohanek had introduced him to the wonders of port just after the Nosferatu had left Daedalus’ haven. I like Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot too, but I want the best for Daedalus.

The elder Nosferatu sniffed appreciatively as his hand closed about the delicately etched wine goblet handed to him. Port - and it was older than his childe.  The Nosferatu Primogen also fought, and won, an effort to suppress his amusement. A conga line of dancing rats, blood dripping daintily from their teeny, tiny, extremely cute little fangs was etched around the bowl of the goblet. Simeon had a well-developed, very twisted sense of humor. He also had good taste and Daedalus knew the development of this particular taste was not due to his efforts. While the Nosferatu ancient did enjoy sharing a glass of wine with his Ventrue friends, it was not something he sought on his own, at least not since the days before his embrace, and the Greek wines of his youth had vanished from the world long before even Camilla had been born. No, Daedalus knew who had taught his childe the joys of viniculture, vintages, wineries, and etiquette. Who would have thought Julian’s childe, Frank Kohanek, would become so enamored of the liquid. Daedalus would have thought the man would have been more of the beer type, like his brood-brother, Sonny. Frank now owned one of the only two remaining vineyards and wineries on the West Coast, and he was partners with his sire in the other. He’d also recruited Simeon as his secondary vintner. Nosferatu alchemy and highly developed Ventrue taste buds, not to mention Ventrue business techniques, were a powerful combination and - a very lucrative one for the Nosferatu. Like a true Nosferatu, Simeon was far more interested in information than money, although he wouldn’t turn down any computer technology Frank, or Frank’s sire, might bring to him.

 Frank Kohanek’s loyalties were clear - his first loyalty was, and would always be, to his sire, and his Prince. But, he would also trade information, and favors, with a close friend and trusted ally, and with one of the Prince’s favorite childer in his debt, Daedalus’ childe often knew more, and sooner, about the scandals, conspiracies, and other goings on in the human and Kindred world than anyone, except Julian. In many ways, Simeon knew more than his Prince, as a Nosferatu ought to, Simeon’s sire thought proudly. It is our job to synthesize: Our job to obtain as much information, from as many sources as we possibly can, and my childe is the finest snoop we’ve found in several generations. He’s not seventy yet, including his mortal years, and he’s already our Prince’s spymaster. Daedalus shook himself out of his reverie. If I’m not careful, I’ll be the smuggest Nosferatu in the city.

 

 

“The Blues are pushing into Haight-Ashbury. The Reds are trying to overrun the Mission and the Castro Districts, the Tongs are doing their best to break out of Chinatown, and Hunters are oozing out of the wainscoting. But … on a more positive note,” The speaker said brightly, “the Brujah are holding the wharves, your Ventrue are still maintaining a tenacious hold on the financial district and the Gangrel have managed to provide a certain amount of protection and order to the shanty towns the humans have set up in the gardens and groves of Tilden Park. Now that the humans have used up all the fossil fuels in their military endeavors, sea levels appear to have stopped rising so fast.” The speaker smiled as he waved his right hand in the general direction of the figures showing on the chart he had just drawn on the chalk-board.

Julian Luna leaned, bemused, against the back of his chair, his forearms resting casually on the well polished rosewood arms of said chair. He was seated at the head of his intricately inlaid mahogany conclave-table, the Primogens of the five Kindred Clans of San Francisco joining him around the table. To his right was Sonny Toussaint, his childe as well as Ventrue Primogen, continuing counter-clockwise seated around the table were the Toreador Primogen, Lilly Langtree, Cameron, the Brujah Primogen, Daedalus of the Nosferatu, and seated to the left of his Prince, the Gangrel Primogen, Cash.  Julian’s second eldest childe, Frank Kohanek, stood behind his brood-brother. With the exception of the Toreador and the Nosferatu, all appeared to be bemused by the breezy briefing being supplied by Julian’s Nosferatu spymaster. Stephan Stefanopoulos was pacing, his steps as brisk as his speech as he divided his attention between the large chalk-board facing Julian against the backdrop of the rosewood covered walls, the individuals gathered about the table and the leaping, crackling flames of the fire dancing in the fireplace behind Julian. After, when to Simeon’s belief, he had thoroughly explained the information illustrated by his chalked words, diagrams, and statistics, the Nosferatu would circle the table, inviting comments from the various Kindred as he passed by. He’s more contained and focused than when we first met, but my spymaster is just as intense. At least he no longer fears me, for me perhaps … definitely for his sire … and for the Clans as well.  Julian feared for the Kindred too. In fact, he was extremely displeased, disgusted and distressed concerning the current state of world affairs. They’ve finally done it. The humans are on the verge of destroying this world. I give it another two hundred years at most and that’s only if the humans stop fighting over the last sources of fresh water and start preserving what they have left. Even if, as Simeon says, the sea levels have stopped rising as rapidly, they are still rising.  

Simeon: A Nosferatu's Tale: Pt. 12


Three hours later, Simeon sighed in relief as he turned the burner off. It’s done; now to let it cool. Clean rags in hand, he carefully picked the beaker up and carried it over to one of the stacks of shelves lining the wall where he placed it on an empty smiley face trivet. Brushing his claws against his blue one-hundred-percent cotton shirt in honor of the smiley face, he grinned. I’m still the best dumpster diver in the City.

            “… And a bit of a smug one too, childe.”

            At the sound of his sire’s voice, Simeon turned to his right. Daedalus was there. The elder Nosferatu, cigarette in hand, a perfectly round smoke ring hanging in front of him was leaning casually against the side of the entrance to their inner haven. Laughing, the younger Nosferatu replied innocently, “Well, yes I am, but haven’t you me told to take pride in everything I do?”

            Daedalus’ lips twitched. “It is gratifying to have such an obedient childe, one who pays such close attention to my words,” he agreed, his tone equally innocent. Dropping the cigarette to the floor, he quickly stubbed it out, straightened, and walked over to the shelves. After several minutes of eyeing and sniffing the contents of the still decidedly warm beaker, he turned to Simeon and with quiet pride and approval showing in his eyes and voice said, “You’ve done well. This should make Julian’s roses the best in the San Francisco Garden Show, and you did it on the second attempt. Are you ready for another lesson?”

            His eyes sparkling with good humor, Daedalus’ childe smiled. “Of course, I am,” He promptly replied.

            “Good,” Daedalus said, his tone now serious. “I need you to clear the library table and then gather the ingredients for a sedating potion; a Kindred sedating potion. Sonny called and Frank Kohanek was shot in the aftermath of the Jason Tyler raid.” The Nosferatu Primogen raised a calming hand. His childe had learned better control of his reactions in the over two years since his embrace, but the slight stiffening of the younger Nosferatu’s body and the barely visible hint of alarm in his fledgling’s eyes was clearly visible to Simeon’s sire.  “Your friend will be fine, childe and his sire will be here shortly. An anxious and agitated Julian Luna and an almost certainly cranky Frank Kohanek will be more than enough for me to deal with. You are my trusted assistant and I rely on you. I need you calm. I know you will not fail me. ” Daedalus noted the effect his words had on his childe.

Simeon was standing straight, his weight balanced evenly on both feet. His eyes were shining. He was confident and he was pleased. His sire did not give verbal praise often, but when he did Simeon knew that he meant it. The younger Nosferatu nodded briskly and grabbing a nearby basket headed toward the table. Just before reaching his goal, he turned and asked, “What about Tyler and the shooter?” Once he heard his sire’s reply. Simeon’s pointed teeth were showing when he responded to Daedalus’ fierce grin with one of his own, “Good, I’m hungry, too.”

 

        _______________________________________________________________________

 

                                                Several Decades Later

 

            The computer on the battered computer desk was far from battered. The Nosferatu sitting at the desk had made sure of that. His computer was the finest known to Nosferatu or Man. He’d designed some of the hardware himself. He knew no human had access to the resources he had. Simeon had made sure of that himself. His security and anti-hacker software not only detected, prevented, and ‘outed’ any intruder into Kindred systems, it also detected any research involving hardware advances. Not that detecting hardware research had really been necessary for the last twenty years. The humans were busy destroying themselves, and they appeared to be intent on taking the rest of the world with them. He rarely had time to sit and discuss anything with his sire anymore, much less the philosophy and history discussions they used to have. Hell, he even missed their ‘discussions’ of Nosferatu norms and mores. The only ‘discussions’ Daedalus had anymore, were with Julian Luna and with the Prince’s bodyguard, Cash, and those ‘discussions’ were when they were ‘discussing’ the defense of the city. His sire was his Prince’s primary strategist and general: Daedalus was in charge of the defense of the city. Cash, the Gangrel Primogen, was in charge of the Prince’s personal defense.

            Simeon ran his hand over his bald head and sighed. He might still look the twenty-three years old he had been before his embrace, but he was over sixty now. His sire had released him, presenting him to the Prince, more than three decades ago and he’d had his own haven for almost that long. True, it wasn’t far from Daedalus’ but it was his and he had three rooms too. Simeon shrugged his shoulders. It was time to take a break. Standing, he moved to one of the several ‘comfy’ chairs his sire had gifted him with when he’d moved to his own haven, stopping on the way to grab a one of his favorite alchemical texts from one of several shelves he had set up against his rear wall. Daedalus had gifted him with several other things upon his removal from his sire’s haven. A portrait of a grinning young Nosferatu was hung over the battered computer desk. Simeon was seated at Daedalus’ old library table, the old alchemical text he now had in his hands. He’d just had his first lesson. Daedalus had pointed to three potions, and asked him which one he wanted to learn first. Simeon had barely been able to contain his excitement.

Simeon: A Nosferatu's Tale Pt. 11


After the two Kindred miscreants had been dragged away, a helpful Cash closing the door as he left, Julian turned to his ‘guest’. Simeon was quivering, all but imperceptible shudders running through his stocky frame. He knew the young Nosferatu had recently fed but there was not the slightest remnant of color in the younger man’s face. The Prince sighed.

“Come here,” Julian said, voice calm and soothing, as he motioned for Simeon to return to his previous chair. “Sit.” Pulling the nearest chair into position beside the younger Kindred, Julian sat and, for the next several minutes, Simeon stared into the flames leaping and dancing in the fireplace to his right. He could feel the attention of the Prince sitting to his left. Daedalus’ childe knew Julian Luna was watching him out of the corners of the Ventrue’s eyes even though the Prince appeared to be contemplating the embossed ceiling. Simeon was indulging in a little oblique observation of his own. His start when he heard the sound of Julian’s voice was barely perceptible.

“Childe,” Julian murmured; his voice light and contemplative, “Are you planning to break the Masquerade, embrace someone without my consent, undermine my authority, and/or run naked through the halls of my home screaming obscenities and attacking stray Brujah?”

Simeon’s head whipped to his left to find Julian Luna calmly meeting his eyes. “No,” he gasped. Simeon’s eyes were wide, his jaw hung low. He wished fervently for a scrub brush to wipe the horrifying image inspired by the Prince’s last comment from his mind. “No, Prince Julian,” the horrified young Nosferatu repeated his initial protest. “I would never do anything like that.”

“Good!” Julian nodded briskly before standing and dusting off his hands. “Then you have nothing to fear from me.

Now, I believe we have some web surfing to do. I am looking forward to seeing what information you can find for me.”

 

__________________________________________________________________ 

                                                Two Weeks Before Julian

Camilla, the mate of the deceased and disgraced former Nosferatu Primogen Goth, was an interesting individual. His sire was correct. The female Nosferatu could strip the hide off someone with her tongue lashings and she deplored stupidity. She also had a soft spot for the young of any species. Simeon didn’t mind, too much, when she came to watch over him, even though Camilla was worse than Daedalus when it came to ferreting out his intentions. He suspected it was from all those children she’d had during her mortal years. It was obvious from the joy and pride in her voice when she spoke of her long deceased family that she had loved being a mother - and she definitely had not lost the knack for it. He’d swear the woman really did have eyes in the back of her head, but she could also be persuaded to tell stories, and he did love to sit and listen to her tell stories of life in the ninth century, and the tenth, and the eleventh ….. It was fascinating comparing what he learned from his sire to what he learned from the second oldest Nosferatu in San Francisco. Camilla had been a peasant when she was embraced; and even before his embrace, Daedalus had been a scholar - and he had been a scholar to Kings. Their differing perspectives on political, social, and even agricultural arts, was fascinating, and informative.   

 

 

                                    Fourteen Months Later

            Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble: Simeon was staring intently at the beaker he had on the Bunsen burner. This was fascinating. Blues, greens, fuchsia …? He was going to master this alchemical stuff after all, and on only the second attempt this time! Daedalus had finally relented, and started providing his fledgling with alchemy lessons. This was the fourth time Simeon had been allowed to brew his own potion, and he was getting better at it too. The first time he’d tried to brew something on his own, it had taken him nine tries before he’d gotten it right, and two of those had left scorch marks on the ceiling. He also now knew better than to mix an acid and a base. How fortunate Kindred no longer needed to breath, although it had been a bit difficult to see through some of the smoke and vapor.

            Ah, there it goes. Those sweet little colors have gone day glow. I have a potion. I have a potion. This ought to make the Prince’s roses the biggest, brightest, perkiest, most colorful things in the history of the San Francisco Garden Show. Better be careful though, the Nosferatu fledgling thought as he reached out to lower the flame. I need to lower this gradually. Three hours isn’t that long in the life of a Kindred and I am a Nosferatu. I am patient.

Simeon: A Nosferatu's Tale Pt. 10


savage nature later. I wonder what the Prince has planned for me to do. Oh, here he comes now.

The young Nosferatu watched the slim, dark-haired man with the brown and black mismatched eyes seat himself on the edge of the sold rosewood desk in front of Simeon. The desk was beautiful: Everything in the room was beautiful. Julian Luna had good taste. Now the man’s mouth was opening. Simeon focused on the Prince’s face. He did not want to miss a word of what the Ventrue was saying.

 

 

He is attentive, Julian noted with approval as, one leg idly swinging, he watched the Nosferatu fledgling struggle to project that calm, stoic demeanor the Nosferatu cherished. He’s definitely perked up since he came through my door, but now he’s waiting for me to speak.

“Yes, Simeon; I need your help accessing some information, but …” he raised an index finger in warning, “… You go where I tell you to go, and if I tell you to get out, you do so immediately. 

Julian watched his Nosferatu guest’s head bob in agreement. He made sure not to allow a hint of the amusement he felt at the twenty-four-year-old’s earnestness appear on his face when he said mildly, “I need your verbal agreement, childe.”

Pleased with Simeon’s reply, Prince Julian said briskly, “Yes, if you believe you’ve been detected, get out and don’t wait for my order. But, we’ll conduct our investigations later. Now I have audiences to get through.

You can practice your obscurity techniques,” he said as he waved the younger man into a well shadowed corner.” Julian was laughing to himself. I can see why Frank likes him so much. Simeon’s going to practice his “There’s no one here but us Nosferatu. Move along; move along” skills. Irreverence and a well-developed sense of humor should take Daedalus’ childe far in the Nosferatu, but he does need to strengthen his shields. The older Nosferatu will drive his sire to the brink of madness with complaints about Simeon’s lack of respect for protocol if he doesn’t learn to hide his thoughts no matter what distractions he may face.

_________________________________________________________________

Simeon still shuddered when he remembered some of Julian’s ‘audiences.’ He did not want to give his Prince any reason to pass judgment on him. Julian Luna was fair, he was reasonable, he wasn’t even cruel but, the man had a more fiendishly inventive imagination than any Kindred Simeon had met so far, including his sire, Daedalus, and that was just in the Prince’s business dealings. 

 

 

 Two Kindred ‘outlaws’ were now clanless and banished from San Francisco. Julian had also called several of his, and his late sire’s, brood-sibs to warn them about the crimes against the peace of the city the Brujah and the Toreador had committed. Neither Ethan Jones nor Martin Scott would find refuge in any city in the western half of North America. Martin, a particularly intense Toreador poet, had taken offence with the Brujah’s taunting comments about his ‘pansy’ poetry. The previous night the two had indulged in an especially intense session of push me, shove me in the backstage area of The Haven. Claws fully extended, with bared fangs, and eyes glowing a hellish green, their fight had almost spilled into the public area of The Haven.  They’d made so much noise with their snarling, several ‘persons’ had called the police. Fortunately for the unfortunate pair, Lillie’s bouncers, joined by some of Cash’s Gangrels, had already stopped the fight by the simple expedient of beating the crap out of them, dragging them to Julian’s mansion before the cops could get there and then dumping them at the feet of their exasperated Prince. He’d had them confined in the Prison of Light, preventing them from feeding for three days, before having them driven to the city’s edge and tossed out into the noon-day sun. They’d be lucky if they could find any Prince in North America who’d allow them into their city. Simeon was certain the only reason the Prince had not called for a blood-hunt was because the Masquerade had not actually been broken, just severely threatened. No human had seen a fang or a claw where they shouldn’t have.

Simeon: A Nosferatu's Tale Pt. 9


With a feeling of relief, Julian Luna signed his name to the last document certifying his consent to the sale of two of his more obscure holding companies. Of course, he was actually selling them to several of his even more obscure holding companies but, he thought with a smirk, I am providing job security to a human forensic accountant or three and good luck to them. If one of the humans manages to penetrate this far into my business, they’ll find themselves embraced or blood-bonded. Waste not; want not - anyone that good is too good to waste.  

Pushing the completed forms to one side, he looked up as he saw the door to his study open. Ah …, it was Daedalus and the newest addition to the Nosferatu. Julian rose and went to greet his friend and that friend’s childe. It was time to repay his Nosferatu friend for the man’s help with Julian’s most recent childe, Frank Kohanek. He looked after mine, I can look after his, although, at least I could leave Frank alone in his room and trust him to stay out of trouble there. On the other hand, Frank was thirty-three when I embraced him. Simeon was twenty-three when Daedalus embraced him and he hasn’t had any restraints but his own on his actions since he was eleven. My childe did not grow up on the streets and I can’t imagine him as the intellectually curious, academic freedom, right-to-know type. I know Caitlyn Byrne’s snooping drove him crazy. Julian sighed as he remembered the human investigative reporter with the long blond hair and the overly curious mind. He still loved her, but he’d done the only thing he could to protect her. He’d gone to Daedalus and, with Nosferatu and Ventrue dominance, backed by Nosferatu alchemy, he’d wiped Caitlyn’s mind clean of any memory of him, the Kindred, or even the last three years of her life as ‘San Francisco’s most feared investigative reporter.’ As the Managing Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, Caitlyn had had excellent insurance and as the publisher of said paper, he’d made sure the amnesiac editor of his paper had the most golden of parachutes he could provide. Poor Caitlyn; she was lucky to have survived her near drowning with only amnesia. The woman should have known better than to ignore the ‘water across the road’ sign on her way to meet an informant. The story had made quite the cautionary tale in his newspaper. Julian had even written the editorial himself. Caitlyn was now a journalism instructor at a private school in Spain. One of Archon’s brood-sibs was keeping a close eye on her. How fortunate that Julian’s late sire had so many brood-sibs scattered about Europe and the Americas - and most of them were princes. Julian’s reverie ended as he stopped in front of the waiting Nosferatu.


 

“Daedalus; you and your childe are welcome here. Please … sit down.” The Prince motioned toward the two Queen Anne chairs in front of his ornate rosewood desk, watching his friend’s almost imperceptible nod to the younger Nosferatu. Daedalus pointed an index finger at the chair to the right of Julian’s desk, before replying to Julian’s offer. “My Prince, I must refuse your gracious offer. My clan-mates will be restless, but I thank you for allowing me to leave my childe in your care.”

After acknowledging Julian’s courteous reply and kissing the ring of office on the Prince’s outstretched right hand, Daedalus turned and left. But, before passing through the opened doorway, he turned and said casually, “I’m sure Simeon would be happy to help you search the web for the information you mentioned earlier.”

 

 

From boredom and dread to interest and excitement in two seconds. Even Frank’s moods never changed that fast Prince Julian noted with amusement. Simeon’s more transparent than my youngest. I need to watch him too. Computer geeks, especially this one, aren’t exactly known for their discretion.

 

Simeon’s head rose as he heard Daedalus’ parting comment. Did I hear him correctly? Did he say I get to go web surfing? Official, approved, web surfing: Simeon’s demeanor changed from resigned to excited. Maybe, it’ll even be extensive snooping. He struggled to contain his glee. Simeon was not about to embarrass himself in front of the Prince. He did not want to disappoint his sire. I am a Nosferatu fledgling. I will be polite, courteous, calm, measured, practical, and oh-so-discrete. Daedalus says there’s plenty of time for me to learn about my

 

Simeon: A Nosferatu's Tale Pt. 8


Simeon had just started to relax when he noticed a wicked grin appear on Detective Kohanek’s face and heard the man offering to help him practice his shielding.  “Detect …, ah, Frank. I am most grateful for your offer.” Simeon couldn’t continue with the formality his Nosferatu sire expected him to become accustomed to. He had to laugh. Frank was sitting upright in his chair with both feet firmly planted on the floor, his body tilted toward Simeon. The most sober, upright, uptight expression that the former snitch had ever seen had settled over Frank’s face as the man appeared to be listening intently to Simeon’s every word. He was even nodding politely.

“All right, Frank,” the former snitch laughed. “I get your point. Nosferatu can be just as ‘formal’ and ‘uptight’ as Ventrue, we’re just ‘formal’ and ‘uptight’ about different things and I understand your point about containing my thoughts as well. I’m the childe of the Nosferatu Primogen; my actions could be used against him and my clan.” He grinned impishly at the faint look of surprise he noticed flashing across Frank Kohanek’s face. “I don’t like politics, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand them. I learned a lot about status, group dynamics and dominance games after the death of my Uncle Petros. There’s no one to protect an individual, especially a child,  on either the streets or in a bureaucracy where “raising” children by a dysfunctional committee, whose members are constantly changing, is the unfortunate outcome of too little money and far too few people to do the job correctly. No one can protect you from the bullies and the people who just want to use you when it’s ‘everyone’s job to protect you. There is no law, it’s just a struggle to survive, and anyone who does try to protect you is risking their job, if not their life.”

 

I’ve shocked him. Simeon sighed. “Don’t worry about me, Frank. I survived foster hell and I survived the streets.” He looked with quiet pride around the room they were sitting in. “I have a fine home.” He patted his right leg.” I have a straight, whole, and no longer hurting leg and,” the young Nosferatu smiled fiercely, his pointed teeth showing, “I have a wonderful, caring, and devoted sire, who has not only given all of that to me, but he’s also given me better prospects than I could have ever dreamed of, and a long life in which to enjoy those prospects.

 

No, Frank,” Simeon said in response to the slightly stunned look on the Detective’s face, “that doesn’t mean I don’t chafe at Daedalus’ mother-hen instincts and I do dislike his limits on my activities, but I also realize why he’s doing it. I’m grateful for it.” Simeon’s tone was dry when he made his next comment, “I know I have a hard time containing my curiosity. I’m also aware that curiosity could get me, my sire, and my clan into a lot of trouble, and,” he finished with a grin, “I’ll deny those last three comments if you ever tell them to anyone else. I appreciate your advice concerning my shields and I thank you for your offer, but I’ll wait a few days and then suggest some more practice to my sire.” Simeon’s mental smile was lost to Frank as the young Nosferatu strengthened his shields. I’ll pounce on Daedalus’ mind. Mental hide and go seek is so much fun.

 “So, Frank,” he wheedled, “is there anything interesting going on outside my sire’s haven?”

 

 

                                    Two Weeks Before Frank

Simeon sighed as his sire opened the door to the Prince’s study and ushered him inside. This was embarrassing. He did not see why he couldn’t have sat in the shadows while Daedalus and the other Nosferatu elders discussed clan business. Well, maybe he did understand, but he didn’t want to. He hadn’t exactly distinguished himself in the sense and sensibility department lately.  Nosiness was an important Nosferatu trait, but he hadn’t exactly distinguished himself in his capacity to know when and where to allow that highly valuable, to the Nosferatu, snoopiness out to play. Apparently, neither did most other Nosferatu childer embraced before their thirties so … here he was, about to be ‘childer-sat’ by the Prince.


 

Simeon: A Nosferatu's Tale Pt. 7


Although: Now that he knew Prince Julian, Simeon doubted Julian Luna would have had him killed. Our Prince is an efficient and effective protector of our Masquerade, but he is neither a cruel, nor a wasteful man. Simeon Stefanopoulus knew his worth to the Kindred. Undisciplined snoop that he could sometimes be: he was also highly efficient and effective at what he did. Julian Luna would not have let him go to waste. If Daedalus had not made the request to embrace Simeon, the Prince would have made the young computer geek his own childe, and Simeon would not have turned the Ventrue down. In spite of the fear and distrust the young Nosferatu had felt upon first meeting his future Prince, he now knew the Ventrue was as capable of forcing his way into Simeon’s mind as Daedalus had been. Oh, Julian did not have the benefit of Simeon’s instant affinity for the Nosferatu Primogen and it would have taken the Prince longer, but Julian Luna was persistent, and patient. He would have overcome the younger man’s fear and ignorance. Simeon shuddered at the thought of being answerable to Julian Luna as the man’s childe. His Prince was too intense, too uptight, and, his thoughts paused, way too Ventrue. He was so in debt to Frank Kohanek. Simeon couldn’t even contemplate the thought of himself as a Ventrue. I’m a scholar: I don’t care about prestige and I don’t want to be an obsessive-compulsive, uptight Ventrue Professor at some prestigious University fighting to climb up the academic ladder.  Nope, Simeon preferred the much more laid back Nosferatu - free lance scholars for hire.

Startled by a loud scraping noise, he looked up to see Frank Kohanek dragging another of the room’s comfy chairs toward him. The detective calmly positioned the chair to Simeon’s right; let his body fall into it, wiggled until he’d found a comfortable position before stretching his legs out before him and then crossing those legs at the ankles.

 

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