Matthias, p.19
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       Matthias, p.19

           Ariana Kenny


  Violet and I slid into the visitors parking with little trouble and wandered into the lobby of WEHLEN. Like most multi-national, billion dollar industries, it was lavish, circumspect and surprisingly barren of security personnel beyond the ground floor. Violet politely ‘told’ security to swipe us through the gate, and we followed people on the elevator to visit the floors we wanted to scope out. The company appeared to be as legit as you can expect I suppose. Customer service department, lending departments, brokerage specialists.... Everything was as legit as possible – at least to see from the outside. Except Basement Level 1 - Records. It was the only floor no one obliged us by visiting. With no pass, we couldn't stop there without hitting the emergency button.

  Prying the door open we slipped through to a dark floor with only emergency lighting and seemingly abandoned. A long corridor stretched, resembling a hospital, Violet's heels clicking in the silence. If I hadn't had enhanced vision, I might have missed it.

  Well down the corridor, a figure disappeared behind one of the open side doors. As I reacted to the peripheral movement, Violet growled and spun around to take on another. I ran forward to confront the figure now launching himself from the door ahead and tackled him head on. Fangs protruded, I threw all I had into it. As I propelled forward I shifted fast and the 6 foot wall of a man lost sight of me. I skidded towards him, dropping to my knees and smashed him in the stomach with my fist. He dropped and I grabbed his head, wrenching him sideways.

  Over his shoulder, I saw Violet throw herself in a backwards flip to free herself from the grip of a tall blond equally tall man. She fled down the corridor to give herself distance to take him. With the extra strength I had, I effortlessly squashed the neck of the man I held helpless as a human in my grip. I ran down the corridor chasing the man, chasing Violet. She was fast and he was just as fast. She spun in to a back kick and connected with him. He flew back and I side swiped him in to the wall.

  Gathering himself, he rose and I recognized him instantly.

  "Viktor!?" I exclaimed.

  He regarded me curiously, then smiled. That didn't stop him from lunging towards me. He knocked me backward and I kicked him away. As he flew back, Violet grabbed his neck and forced him in to the wall. It caved to his form, but instead of anger I expected to see in his face, I saw delight. He threw her off him, and he drew to his feet quickly, ready to take Violet head on, but she grabbed his arms and tossed him instead. Before there was time for Viktor to react, Violet was on him, hand to his sternum. She tossed him in to the ceiling and he laughed as he crashed back to the ground.

  "I love it!" he boomed.

  "Shut up!" Violet hissed back at him.

  "No chance" he laughed back and she kicked him in response. "Easy! Might break something that would come in useful later." came the response.

  "Doubtful," Violet scolded. "As long as your mouth works, I don't care what I break."

  "However I can be of service...." he mocked in return. Violet turned purple and moved to crush his throat, but I caught her hand halfway.

  "Let him go." I urged her. I still remembered that he could have made it difficult for us to get out of Belil's grasp. Viktor had closed a door to keep Belil from gaining freedom, and guided us out. I wasn't about to forget that.

  "Let him go?" Violet was mad now. "He worked for Belil. I remember."

  "You forget. You were gone for a long while Violet. If Viktor hadn't helped. I don't know that we would have got away after we freed you." I reminded her.

  Violet looked at Viktor again. "So what? From the frying pan into the flame? Belil to Michael?" she queried.

  "Man's got to make a living." Viktor drawled leaning into Violet. She didn't move away.

  "Still got to have a conscience." she growled between gritted teeth. He laughed, enough to exasperated her fully.

  "Violet!" I cautioned. She released her grip with a sigh. Viktor grinned at her frustration.

  "Wipe the smirk off your face before I do it for you." she hit back and stalked away a few paces.

  "So what brings you back to my neck of the woods?" Viktor queried as he dusted his suit off.

  "Just looking for someone." I led.

  "An old friend with a new attitude?" offered Viktor. I nodded in acknowledgement.

  "He thinks I'm dead and I want to keep it that way until I catch up with him again." I paused to regard Viktor. This was the first time I had really got to see him up close without him being shot at or trying to kill me.

  Violet interrupted my assessment of him. "What does Michael want here? Why are you posted here?"

  "Demanding aren't you!" Viktor pushed back. “Good thing I like demanding.”

  "You are yet to see demanding from me Viktor!" she challenged.

  "Kids, let's play nice." I interjected.

  Viktor turned his back on Violet, incensing her further, and spoke to me. "Michael has me rummaging through paperwork on his new properties. He’s acquiring them through WHELEN but doesn't trust that they won't sell him out to someone else. He has an unhealthy sense of paranoia your friend."

  "What properties. What for?" I asked confused.

  "Yeah, well like most power mad vamps, he has a master plan to control the city. One whorehouse and casino at a time."

  "Ugh. How cliché." Violet uttered under her breath.

  "I know, right. Where's the originality? I have to find another line of business. 1,500 years and still the same M.O." Viktor addressed her. His honesty took the edge out of her stance at least.

  "What about his new playmates?" I asked.

  "He drinks from them, controls them with an amulet – the same one Belil used. He says they allow him to influence people to his mind, rather than have to hone the skills, builds his strength and speed, among other things. Nasty breed though. I'm not so sure that Michael has the hold he thinks he does either. I didn't like them when they were underground. I like them less now they are free to roam at night. Leash or not, those things have nothing left of a soul," he directed his thoughts to Violet "...or a conscience."

  "So where is the latest and greatest hiding place?" I pressed further.

  "I don't think he is in to hiding so much. He's at the Golden Crest."

  "The casino we were at last night? You're kidding!" I thought to myself out loud. “Michael must know I was alive. He couldn't have missed Elias and I hitting up the tables if he was that close.” Why no action then I wondered. I suddenly had an urge to get back to Cassie. Quickly. "We better get back, regroup and decide what we do next."

  As we started our exit, Viktor offered something more "Might want to check in with the witch as well. She's a common theme for him when it comes to dislikes."

  "Not really the loyal kind are we!" Violet was giving me flashbacks to high school by that stage. I rolled my eyes involuntarily.

  Violet stepped over what was left of the other guy. When finally killed, we revert back to the state of decay our bodies should have gone through since the time of 'death'. This one was relatively fresh in the scheme of things. "So sorry about your friend." Violet snipped.

  "Meh, so I get to blame him for the break in, and cop the glory. I'm cool with that." Violet lost her humour once more, turning on her heel to disappear into the lift where we came from. "Be seeing you sweetheart. You can walk over my dead body anytime!" Viktor called after her.

  "You don't like to help yourself do you?" I chuckled at him.

  "Who really wants to live forever?" he replied. Viktor looked at me for a moment. "I'm glad things worked out for you. I mean that. There was such a big deal made over you by Belil. And after what happened with Cassie.... You look like you found your way. Death suits you Matthias."

  "It’s still just Matt.... And I am getting used to it. Being dead that is."

  "Matt I'm not getting any younger!" Violet called impatiently.

  "I better go." I grinned.

  "Hell hath no fury...." Viktor agreed.

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