Submitted by Kaarin on Sun, 03/13/2011 - 20:26
Jasmin drummed her fingers on the dashboard of her car, looking down at her spedometer one more time. It was rarer for her to travel, and she knew that she had to get back to New York as quickly as possible. Still, the ride was only a few hours on I-95. If all went according to plan, she would have the Eye and be back in New York before anyone knew that she was gone. Looking up at the latest sign, she decided that it was time to make the call she had been dreading, putting her Bluetooth headset on.
Reaching down, she picked up the phone to dial a number, waiting for someone to answer. A secretary picked up, and asked her to wait a moment as she was transferred to him. “Balthazar!” she let out before he could say anyway. “How are you doing this evening?”
“Jasmin, darling!” The voice on the other end of the phone was loud and excited. “I was beginning to think you’d never call. Put an old man out of his misery and tell me you have some good news”.
Her eyes glanced over to the seat beside her only briefly, with the address and sketch. Once she'd seen the Eye in Kadmus' work, it had proven surprisingly easy to locate. It lead to a flurry of phone calls and deals to make arrangements to meet the demon who had it to discuss a possible deal, and used up most of her favors owed to do this discretely. It was, she decided, fate bordering on predestination. “Unfortunately not,” she said, trying to keep her voice light. “The information on the Eye is scant at best, despite my records. By all accounts, it vanished into the vaults of the Knights Templar – if it existed at all.”
There was a long silence as the mage was contemplated her words. Balthazar was not used to being disappointed and the bad news clearly weighed heavy on him. “That’s quite upsetting. You’re telling me that with your extensive library you found nothing? No leads, ideas, anything?” His tone was becoming frantic. “I can’t stress how important it is I get the Eye”
Any doubt she had had before at the course of action faded, though she could smell the opportunity. Balthazar was desperate for something, and desperation breeds stupidity. “I don't know. Can you travel back in time a couple hundred years or so? There are limits, even to my knowledge. Although, maybe if you gave me some idea as to what you needed it for, that would help me broaden my search.”
There was another pause and for a moment the vampiress thought that he just may show his hand. However, despite his anxiety, Romano remained tight lipped. “I have some critical experiments I want to do and I believe the Eye has the properties I need for them to be successful”. It was enough to shut her up, but not enough details for her to ask questions. No, no one could find out the true reason he needed the artifact. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and he damned well sure wasn’t going to do anything to jeopardize it now. “I need you to keep looking Jasmin. If you find it, whatever you want, you name your price and I’ll get it”.
So. Close. She swerved to the side to avoid an asshole who cut her off letting out a slight shriek. “Sorry, stuck in traffic,” she said, returning her voice to a light tone. A blank check. He had offered her a blank check. “I'll keep looking. But no promises. It doesn't look good - especially with St. Vigeous, it's hard to separate fact from myth. Call you back when I have more.”
“I look forward to it.”
Sitting in his office, Balthazar sighed as the phone clicked and went dead. He tried to calm his nerves but the bad news put him over the edge, “Fuck!”
“Oh Balthazar, don’t fret my sweet.”
Balthazar turned to the old woman who was sitting on the edge of his desk. She had been there for the entire conversation and from the coy smile on her face, the mage was certain she was about to be the bearer of good news. “Well out with it. What did you see”
“The vampire is lying through her pointy little fangs.”
Romano practically jumped out of his chair, as he grabbed hold of Tabitha’s withered old hands. “You beautiful woman, tell me more,” he flattered.
“She knows where it is and she’s on her way to get it now.”
“Where is it?” His voice was almost hysterical.
“That I’m not sure. But she’ll be successful in getting it. By tomorrow night, it will be in her possession here in New York”.
Balthazar beamed with delight as he pulled the Tabitha close and, to her delight began to waltz around his office. “You’ve made me a very happy old man my darling”. As Tabitha laughed, a wicked smile crossed the mage’s lips. If Jasmin wanted to play games, he would be happy to oblige.