Beta'd By: My dear friend and Bobbette, Erin *holds tightly*

Disclaimer: The usual. I don't own anything. Not even my sanity. Well, maybe Sabine, but that's not much, considering.

Note: Inspired by the prompt (given through an LJ community): "Any fool can know. The point is to understand."

Note 2: It's meant to be read as a one-shot so, even if it feels like there's more to it, there will be no fanfic-continuation (I hope), so don't ask for it, please?


-|- ... -|-


The door opens, and she enters like a ghost, her amber hair cascading in curls all the way down her spine, which is all quite visible through her white dress, revealing a pale back the dress doesn't quite cover. Her chest is covered, but there is little to fill it out with. She truly is a statuesque beauty, as if chiseled out of the finest marble.

Marcus doesn't stand from his chair when he sees her come in, and simply smiles, his finger over his lips as he looks her over.

"Victoria," he acknowledges her presence, hearing the door close behind her.

She doesn't look back, but simply walks to the chair in front of his desk — nearly floats — and takes a seat, crossing her legs far too elegantly.

"Marcus, it's been too long," her voice is fire and air — a storm of tranquility, if there ever was such thing.

"It has," he agrees. He leans back in the chair, joining his hands together, "Thank you for returning Krista to us. I am in your debt."

She laughs softly, "The day I decide to cash in that debt, Marcus, you'll be a very poor man, indeed."

Marcus smiles, nodding his head and keeping it down in agreement, "Then I'm fortunate I have nothing you may want."

She lifts a dangerous brow in his direction, "Why don't you let me be the judge of that, young one. Aurora?"

"A success," he smiles in his answer, still smiling from what she previously said.

She joins her hands on her knee, "I must say, blaming the daywalker for the death of the purebloods was absolutely ingenious."

"If I had known it would have brought a visit from you, I would have done it sooner." He stands from his chair, finally, looking as untouchable as always in his suit. He picks a flask of blood from the end of the room, and pours her a glass.

She watches him with a smile, "Marcus, please. Flattery gives you away. You have but to ask, and if it is in me to give, you shall have it." She looks up at him as she receives the wineglass in her open hand. She looks at the glass and then at his face again, seeing the question in his eyes, "Except that. You can't have that, and you know why."

He smiles apologetically, leaning his butt on the desk, as he crosses his arms, taking no drink for himself. "You knew I would ask."

"You always do," she nods, taking in the scent of the blood before letting the glass touch her lips. She's careful when she drinks, opening her mouth just right, before setting it down and keeping it in her hand. "Hmm, yes, that is why I stay away, Marcus. Why don't I give you something else instead? Something better?"

This offer surprises him, "Better than you?"

"Yes, quite," she smiles, her fangs showing. "How about... understanding?"

"Understanding?" He leans off the desk, walking around it, towards his chair. "Understanding of what, exactly?"

"Of whom," she corrects. "Krista."

This strikes a chord, as Marcus had been about to take a seat, but stopped midway after hearing the name leave her lips.

He looks at her, not a hint of amusement in his eyes, "Irilliana, please."

She smirks, "You haven't called me Irilliana for a very long time, Marcus. You must really not want to know."

"I already know enough," he leans back on his chair, hard eyes over hers.

She reaches for his desk, setting the wineglass there, as she moves forward, sitting on the edge of the chair so she can lean closer to his desk. "I'm sure you know, Marcus, but do you understand?" A pause as the silence dances between them, until she speaks again, "Would you like to?"

The silence fills the room again, but not for long, as she goes on with her offer, "You know she betrayed you, you know she once loved you, you know she has power over you, and you know she could love you still, but you refuse to understand the truth behind what you know. You refuse to understand her, Marcus. So, again, I ask you, would you like to?"

It takes everything in his power to look away from the enchantress, "I have a meeting to attend shortly. You're welcome to stay, as Victoria, but as Irilliana, I'm afraid, for the safety of my House, you'd be asked to leave."

She looks to the floor with a smile, before standing from the chair, and accentuates each word with a poisonous smile. "I understand."

She reaches for the wineglass and empties it, setting it down as gently as can ever be managed, "I'll simply wander while you waste your time with everything you think you know, Marcus."


FINIS