This was unexpected . . . unanticipated and quite frankly, rather annoying, if not altogether undignified. The prison was simple; light replaced steel. Confinement defined by the prospect of immolation. Elena rubbed her eyes restlessly. Matthew most likely thought her dead, but this was truly the least of her concerns. Three days. They would have to let her out soon, or she'd throwing herself through the sunlight at the slightest hint of blood.

The cool cement of the wall kept her sane. The floor was covered in sand, sand that reflected the heat and light of the contained sunlight. She'd be sweating if she weren't dehydrated. Lips parched, all Elena could do was sit and wait. Of course, Lille Langtry had been by to offer a sneer and warning and Cavenaugh with his slow but gradual understanding of the part he had played in Elena's game.

"You must think I'm a fool, such a novice to be running the clan's affairs here in the city."

"I think you're fit to be the Primogen. Julian Luna wouldn't have it otherwise." Cavenaugh was aware of her hand in the event, but had yet to understand Elena's end - how could he? "And I guess that leaves me in a good place metaphorically -- not literally of course," she gestured to her surroundings. "Having a fit Primogen, such as yourself, owing me a favour."

"I asked for leniency for you."

"You really think the Prince would have killed one of his own kind?"

"Given the crime? No one would have shed a tear for you, my dear. No one would have cared."

"Why are you here then? If not to sweep the rest of this mess under the rug?"

Cavenaugh considered, flicking grime from underneath his nails. "My child admires you now. She's too young and naive to fear Julian for the warrior that he is, and sees the rest of us as only businessmen. She admires you," he repeated.


"Indeed. So, what do you want?"

Someone cleared their throat; Elena hadn't even realized their presence. She opened her eyes to find one of the manse's servants on the other side of the sunlight.

"The Prince wishes to see you," the ghoul said simply. He pushed a button on the wall that shuttered the shafts of light. "Please follow me."

The garden terrace, a bottle of wine and two glasses. Julian stood, leafing through a dossier as she approached, the serf disappearing as imperceptibly as he had arrived in the first place. Elena eyed the wine, smelling the vitae inside, but remained a polite distance away from the Prince.

"Good to see you survived the Prison of Light," he said without looking at her. "Had you frenzied, I would have figured you weren't worth the effort." He closed the folder, turning to Elena and held it up casually. "This is everything my sources could find on you."

Elena took the cue, eyeing the Prince for a moment and then stepped closer and accepted the dossier. She flipped through it quickly. "Are you that worried?"

Julian shrugged, "I like to know who is in my city and why. I still don't know why you're here, but atleast I know a little more about the who."

She paid the file little interest, tossing it onto the table absently. Elena had already sensed the change in the Prince's demeanour; this wasn't about her brawl with the Brujah. Another game was afoot. "So, are you going to offer me some wine?"

Julian laughed slightly as he went over to the table and uncorked the bottle. "I thought you'd never ask," he teased, filling both glasses halfways. She couldn't help but drain hers as the Prince handed it over; he poured her another glass before putting the bottle down.

Elena felt the crispness in her lips fading . . . the blood content was miniscule, but it helped. The second glass sat in her hands temptingly, but she resisted the urge to drain it as well, taking a long sip instead. The dossier sat before her as she drank; a slight breeze lifted the cover of the folder, turning to the first page. Laughter struck her ears against the wild silence of the garden. Elena looked up, as did Julian, to see two Toreador abruptly stop in conversation as they passed.

"Does the entire city live here?"

The Prince shrugged. "Most of the Ventrue, some Toreador, Cash, my neice," he considered Daedalus momentarily, but decided to preserve the Nosferatu's privacy. "A few others."

Elena nodded, flipping through the file again.

"There are plenty of spare rooms, however -"

Elena smiled, suddenly aware of something she should never have missed. As casually as possible, she kept her attention still on the contents of the folder. "I prefer -"

"That apartment of yours, on the east side? It's interesting. Someone only passing through, going through the hassle of leasing an apartment."

"I prefer having my own space," she said. "But congratulations on your homework. Everything seems to be here." Elena looked down, flipping to a page of photographs. "I'm not sure why these are here though. Since we both know I had nothing to do with any of this," she commented, touching one of the photos absently. Bones and ashes . . .

Julian brushed his fingers across hers playfully. "You don't think it's relevent?"

She turned to face him fully. "I thought you were of the mind that the sins of the sire -"

"I'm not." He leaned in to kiss her lightly. but she turned ever-so-slightly to avoid it. Julian smiled widely. "You don't strike me as the type to play coy."

"Oh, I'm not," Elena agreed, her face a breath away from his. She ran a hand down his silk tie to make her point. "I'm just not entirely sure I'm interested in being seduced my you."

Her bluntness surprised him; he hid it with a sip of wine. "No?"

"I realize that I'm fresh blood to the city, and I've seen the fare," Elena carried on, matter-of-factly.

"Not all of them."

"No, but enough to see that the waters here must get pretty stagnant from time to time. And here I am, a mystery woman -" she took another long sip. "I've been around Ventrue men long enough to be aware of their looks."

"Oh? And so how do I look at you?"

"You look at me as though I'm a puzzle you just haven't quite solved yet -- an enigma a night in your bed would remedy, I'm sure." She finished the wine and set the glass down.

"Well, you definitely are an enigma to me," Julian said.

"Am I your prisoner too?"

"If you're not interested in staying with your own kind," the Prince said. "I can atleast have someone drive you home."

"I'd prefer to walk."

"Of course."

She was dialing Matthew's number as she entered the apartment. Everything looked as it should, but a thorough investigation would have to wait until tomorrow. Elena wanted rest and the blood that now filled her belly was only adding to her drowsiness.

"It's you," was all her broodmate said.


"Yes. I mean, I was told you were still alive but I had my doubts."

"You don't trust your own sire, Matthew?"

He avoided the question. "But you're allright?"

"I'm fine and I'm going to bed. I'll call tomorrow." She clicked the phone off before Matthew could say anything more, a habit she had picked up from Marius -- one that used to infuriate her ironically.

Sleep was fast; the day rolled on. She slept with her hand around the gun Matthew had left for her. When it came upon her to wake up, Elena opened her eyes slowly. Something in the air was not right. The glock was not in her hand nor under her pillow.

It hung in front of her face, black muzzle greeting her forebodingly. A Brujah held it there, and more filled the room . . .