By Azure Dragon Part one The city lights twinkled below the balcony of her third floor apartment. Soft notes of jazz music filled the air with sweet romance. Lyrics became clear and it turned out to be Ella Fitzgerald singing Goodnight My Love. Inside the small apartment a young woman hummed along as she set the table for two. Checking the clock one last time Rebecca smiled and dashed off to her room. Quickly she changed out of her jeans and T-shirt and pulled on a long skirt and silk top. Combing out her hair as she hummed with the song. She dabbed on some of the special perfume she had received. Breathing in the sweet flora scent she applied vanilla lip gloss then flashed a smile at her reflection. There was a pause in the music and the melody started again from the beginning. Rebecca waltz around her bedroom to the opening cords and stared out her window as the lyrics began. "Goodnight my love, the tired old moon is descending. Goodnight my love, my moment with you is now ending. It was so heavenly holding you close to me...It will be so heavenly to hold you again in a dream." She smiled softly and turned away from the shimmering city vista. In the living room she glanced over the couch and coffee table. Making sure that everything was in place and nothing was missing. The coffee table had been pushed to the corner and there was now a clear space to dance on the floor. A soft laugh bubbled from her as she remembered their first dance in her place. Both of them had tumbled into the couch and keeping to his nature. Her beau had not taken advantage of the awkward moment. Now however, she almost wished he would. Shaking loose the longing she went into the kitchen and checked everything. The meal was ready and so was the wine. All that was needed was the rest of her company. As if on cue there came the double knock on her door. She tried to slow the sudden racing of her heart as she went to the door. Her hands were slightly shaky as she unlocked the deadbolt and held the door open. As usual, the second she saw him everything in her melted. "Sorry I am late." He said gently and held out a bouquet of exotic flowers. "Oh," She exclaimed and took the offering. " Honesty I don't know why you do this. Policemen can't afford such expensive things." He gave her that smile and her stomach flopped over. " I always save my pennies." She laughed softly and went to the kitchen as he made himself comfortable in the living room. Setting the flowers on the coffee table she could feel him watching her. It made her skin tingle with delight. Turning to face him she felt her body grow warm and her breath was light. For a moment that seemed to stretch forever they watched each other. He stood up and approached her slowly. As he pulled her close the song started again and they danced together. The soft shuffling of their feet was the only sound as they held one another and dreamed. Outside the stars twinkled and shone as they watched the romance below. Part Two With his arms wrapped around her warm body, the last thing he wanted to do was answer his pager. Reluctantly he pulled away and rolled over onto his side. On the bedside table his pager bleated helplessly and he glared at it. Reaching one hand he picked it up and read the number. "Damn it," He sat on one arm and dialed the number. Next to him the girl stirred and he glanced at her, she was still asleep. " You paged me?" He listened to the report of the young man and sighed. " I'll be right there." Getting out of bed had never been so difficult for him. He pulled on his slacks and shirt, next was the socks and shoes. Just as he was adjusting his tie he felt her wake. For a moment she was worried when he wasn't holding her. Then she rolled over and saw him fully dressed. He could sense her concern for a moment before she resigned herself to letting him go. "Duty calls?" She asked in forced cheerfulness. "Something like that." Turning around he leaned down and kissed her lightly on the lips. "I'll call you." "Okay." She whispered and he could tell she was upset. "Becky this is my job." He said gently. She rolled away from him but he tugged her back. " What's wrong?" She pulled in a breath as though afraid to say it. " I had a dream about you." He smiled, " Most would say that was a good thing." A frown fell on her face and she looked at him with dark eyes. " I am not most women." "No." He spoke very seriously. " No you're not and that is why I am here and not at home. Now what is so upsetting?" "I dreamed that your partner was chasing a boy and he met this monster instead. You had to save him from the monster but then your partner was running from you." She sounded close to tears so he cuddled her to his chest. "Why would he run from me?" "Because you became the monster." Through his shirt he could feel the tears , her fingers gripped his clothes as though he might disappear. "Becky," He whispered, " Relax love, it was only a dream." He could say all the comforting words he wanted, but the truth was her dream bothered him. She had never been wrong before about things she saw in her dreams. Still... "I know," She managed to sound calm and pulled away from him. " I was just being over emotional." She put on a smile and gently let released him. "You'd better go or your partner will get worried." He grinned and she brightened a little. " Let him worry." Kissing her lips again he let himself forget about the call and all the other things. Right now he was with the woman he loved. With his hands trailing along the cotton shirt she slept in, he could feel the increase in her heart rate. The rush of blood that warmed her skin and teased him. For now it was just him and her and nothing else mattered. Part three This time it was Rebecca who woke up to the beeping of the pager. She lifted her head from his chest and stared at the number. It was unfamiliar to her and she could only guess what it was. Untangling herself from his warm body she sat on the edge of the bed as he dialed the number. "What's up?" He asked in a sleepy tone. Lines formed around his mouth as he frowned. " When was that?" Remembrance dawned on his face as he glanced at her. She could see the thoughts moving over his eyes as slowly he nodded. " Give me twenty minutes." Hanging up he threw back the sheets and quickly got dressed. "Sorry." She muttered and he looked at her. Her hands ran over the sheets that were still warm from his body. "About?" He cinched the belt and adjusted his shirt. " About making you late for work." She gripped the sheets and couldn't meet his eyes. "Don't worry about it." He said and stood up. Clipping his gun to the belt he smoothed his tie in the mirror. In the reflection he saw the worry on her face and inwardly gave a sigh. " Please Becky, it's not that big of a deal." "Yes it is." She whispered, arms moving to hug herself as if cold. " What if someone got hurt? Or something else happened?" He lifted her chin so she stared into his eyes and kissed the end of her nose. His hands trailed down her shoulders and he lifted her off the bed. Setting her on the floor he held her for a moment. Slowly her muscles relaxed and eased as he rubbed her arms. Taking hold of her hand he made his way to the door. "I have something for you." He said and took out a shiny wrapped gift from his overcoat. Her eyes flashed with surprise as he handed it to her. There was a moment of confusion and hesitation before she gently opened the paper. He smiled as she breathed in sharply at the touch of a velvet box. She looked up at him and there were tears in her eyes before she even opened the gift. "Don't start crying yet." He warned playfully and gently took the box from her. Opening the lid he took out the pendant and she started to cry. The chain was a double helix weaving of gold. Weighing it down was an emerald shaped like a Lilly. The gem flashed green fire as he put it around her neck. "How...Why..?" She was having trouble speaking and he laughed softly. "So you can always have me near." He said as he kissed her neck and stood back. She touched the stone and looked at him with amazed eyes. " A friend of mine designed it just for you." Shrugging on his coat he took her hand and kissed the back of it. She squeezed his hand and he paused. " You didn't have to...you know win me over." He hugged her, " That's only a promise of what's to come." "Be safe." She whispered and let him go. Tears fell again but for a different reason as he disappeared into the elevator. " Be careful." Part Four Thick curls of smoke covered the slowly dawning sky of the city as he arrived. Walking up to the smoking ruin of the warehouse made Sonny pause. This was Brujah territory, so why were there human cops around? One of them just happened to be in the loop and fixed him with a questioning look as he approached. "Morning sleepyhead," Frank muttered as he looked his partner from head to toe. "Same to you." Sonny said as he noticed the tufts of hair that stuck out and rumbled clothes. "What are you doing here?" "A woman called in and said there was smoke coming from the docks. When we got here we already had company." Frank indicated the two square built men in suits. Sonny recognized them and felt a headache coming on. "They say that they were the night patrol." "Have we talked to them yet?" Sonny asked dryly. "They plead the fifth and won't say boo until their lawyers show up." Frank shook his head. "Since when do night-watch men wear two thousand dollar suits and ask for lawyers?" Sonny shrugged and headed over to them while Frank spoke to one of the uniforms. Both of them watched him with guarded eyes as he walked up. " Morning boys." He said lightly as they frowned. " Working late were you?" The one on the left eyed him a moment before leaning close, " So where were you all night Sonny?" "Yeah," The second one smirked. " Julian called you hours ago and you didn't show." The Ventrue glared at the two mobsters and they weren't so brave. " That doesn't concern you." He turned his attention to the one on the right. " So Marco, what were you two doing here?" "Nothing." He muttered and crossed his arms. " Besides we answer to Cameron, not Julian." Sonny opened his mouth then shut it as Frank showed up. His partner eyed him a second then looked at the two goons. For now at least he let Frank lead the questioning and got no where. Both men were taking their silence to the very end and nothing the policeman could say would change that. "Let them defrost in a cell." Sonny nodded to two uniforms. Heading back to his car, Sonny felt his pager go off again. Flipping back his coat he sighed. It was Julian. Leaving the door of his Cadillac open he reached for his cell phone and paused at the arrival of his partner. "Yes Frank?" "Where were you all night?" Frank leaned in the passenger side and looked at his partner closely. " You smell like a woman's perfume." "I was with someone okay?" Sonny growled and dialed his Prince. " Now leave." Frank grinned and left the Ventrue to his call. "Hey Julian, you paged me?" He listened as his Prince spoke and leaned his head back on the headrest. " I'll stop by and talk to her." Getting out of the car he found Frank in his own vehicle and waited for him. His partner looked up and checked his watch. " Have a fight with 'someone'?" "Listen, Julian needs me to stop by the Haven for a minute. Do you mind carrying on and I'll meet you at the station?" Frank chuckled, "Will do." ** Even in daylight the exterior of the nightclub was alluring and attractive. Sonny parked across the street from the building and gazed at the collection of bikes and cars. Clearly a meeting was happening and it didn't seem good. Getting out he smoothed his coat as he crossed the street. Pulling open the ornate doors he gazed in at the dark interior. Murmuring voices floated up from the curved staircase that lead down. He descended and found Lilly and Cameron sitting with Cash and Sasha. They were grouped around a single table and deep in conversation. It was Cameron who noticed Sonny and sat back. Lilly gazed at him with steady eyes as he approached and pulled up a chair. Sitting down he glanced at the younger couple and found Cash glaring at him. "What's going on?" He asked. "I called you hours ago." Cash snapped. " Why didn't you show up?" Sonny sighed, " You didn't say it was urgent." Lilly put a hand on the Gangrel's arm as he tensed up. " Sonny it's more then that," She glanced at Cameron, " Go ahead, tell him what you told us." The Brujah Primogen took a moment before speaking. " Somewhere between late night and early this morning two of my men spotted Antonio around the my territory. Minutes later one of my warehouses exploded." Sonny frowned. " Antonio? Why would he be here?" "We can only guess that he wants Archon's seat." Lilly said gently and watched him. " You are Julian's Childe, the seat does belong to you now. Cameron glanced at the Toreador, " Why would he blow up my warehouse if he here for the Ventrue?" "He wasn't to cause dissention in the ranks," Cash muttered. " It's his MO and I doubt he's changed that much." Sasha put her arm around him and he smiled a little. "Even if that is the case," Sonny said shortly, " We are jumping to conclusions. Now are you absolutely sure you saw Antonio?" Cameron nodded, " I have night vision cameras watching every inch of my grounds. It's him." "Could he be here for any other reason?" Sonny asked looking at the three other people at the table. "Maybe he wants to return to San Francisco?" Cash said darkly. " Regain his territory and start up his gang again." Silence followed as all of them watched the other. It was Sasha who spoke up. "What's so bad about this guy anyway?" Lilly shot her a look and glanced at Sonny, Cameron shifted in his seat and stared intently at the tablecloth. It was Sonny who answered. " A few years ago Archon had to choose between two protege's, he chose Julian over Antonio. Antonio was so angry that he went on a rampage and slaughtered dozens before we stopped him. It's the closest we've come to exposure in the last century. Julian was the one sent to kill him, but I guess he choked and couldn't do it." Sasha frowned, " They sent Uncle Julian to kill someone?" "Your uncle wasn't always the peaceful prince you know." Lilly said softly and leaned back against her chair. "There is a reason the clans fear him." Her eyes flickered to Cameron and he was staring very hard at the table. " But that's in the past." "Yeah," The Brujah muttered, " In the past." He stood up abruptly and left the club. His guards followed quickly as he went up the stairs. "Before anything else happens," Sonny said, " We should find him and bring him in for questioning." Cash nodded and moved to leave. " Cash, be careful, I don't need to remind you of what he nearly did to Stevie Ray." The Gangrel paused, " I remember." He left and Sasha followed. Only Lilly and Sonny remained in the suddenly silent club. Lilly hesitated before sitting forward and looking him in the eye. " So did you give it to her?" "I never saw her cry before that moment." Sonny felt himself smile and glanced at the woman. " It was beautiful Lilly, thank you." She shrugged, " I had it laying around and thought you could use it." She smiled at him as he chuckled. " So how was Frank this morning?" "Same as usual, he says hi by the way." Sonny stood up and paused as he turned to go. " Lilly," His hands gripped the back of his chair as though he couldn't stand straight. " I love Rebecca more then I ever thought I could love anyone." The Toreador nodded her head, " I know Sonny. I've seen you after being with her, she makes you happy. Just remember..." She paused then thought better of it and smiled at him. " Never mind, I am happy for you and wish you well." He turned and left the club and found Cash waiting for him. Crossing to his car he met the stare of the Gangrel and felt something cold slide down his spine. " Cash." "I know you didn't want anyone to know...but I saw you last night." He said and glanced around. "I don't have to tell you to be careful, but still Sonny, I am worried for you." "Don't be." He said as he opened the car door. " What I do in my own time is my business." He didn't keep the anger from his tone as he climbed into the car. "I used to think that too." Cash said softly, preventing from the Ventrue from closing his door. " Then I met Sash and things changed." Sonny frowned at him. " She isn't like Sasha." There was a pause before the young man spoke. His tone was guarded and quiet, "She is human and she is in danger." Cash said it as gently as he could. " Just watch out, that is all I am saying." With that the Gangrel walked to his bike and tore off down the street. Sonny sat behind the wheel of his car and didn't know what to do. Instead of thinking about it, he started the engine and took off for downtown. Frank was waiting for him at he station, he was a policeman after all. Part Five Closing the door to his private office at Julian's compound, Sonny pulled off his coat and ran fingers through his short hair. His tensions eased out in an unusually heavy sigh. For a moment he allowed himself a moment to rub his neck and stare at the portrait of Archon. He wondered vaguely what the old vampire would say if he could see Sonny now. His mind consumed with the troubles being a cop. Frank had spent a good deal of time questioning Marco and Todd. Both had smoothly answered him and left the station as freemen. The pressures of keeping Frank off the trail of the truth were beginning to wear at him. Like a sandpaper coat that he could never remove. Tossing his actual overcoat across the plush back of his chair, the vampire sat down and stared at the pile of cases. They reminded him yet again of the trouble that his Prince's city was in. Not that it was serious mind you, just one constant complaint or situation, after another. All of which he had to deal with, Julian was too busy juggling his own affairs to do all the work. So Sonny had been handed some of the job, just another pressure on his already tired shoulders. Shoving the pile aside he grabbed the phone and was about to dial Rebecca's when someone walked in. Sonny paused as he spotted the thirteen year old boy being carried in by his collar compliments of Cash. "Sonny," Cash dangled the boy in front of his desk. " Meet John, he's with Antonio." The boy turned defiant angry eyes to the cop and for a moment Sonny was numb. In his head he heard the words of his girlfriend. "He'll be chasing a kid who turns out to be a monster..." "Take a seat." He waved to the empty armchair across from him. Cash deposited the boy, none to gently into the seat. In fact he looked ready to rip him to shreds. Sonny knew the anger was well placed considering the history, but for the moment he waved him off. " Cash if you would wait outside?" "Sure, I need to wash my hands anyway." Cash turned to go. John shifted around in his seat. " You might try washing every day." The Gangrel turned around sharply and the boy was lifted off the chair. He grinned lethal looking fangs at the Enforcer and laughed. " Go on, do what's in your nature to do." "Cash, please put him down." Sonny put a hand on the man's arm. Squeezing just slightly as a reminder to him. There was a moment where Cash might not listen before he dropped the vampire boy onto the floor and stormed out. John flipped him the bird before righting his chair and sitting in it. He gaze Sonny his full attention with wide, innocent eyes. "Cut the crap Jonathan." Sonny sat down and leaned back in his chair. " I know why you're here and it's not for my benefit." John frowned for a moment. " Tony wants what's his and he won't take no for an answer." The voice that came from that seemingly young face was mature. " Consider yourself warned." "Meaning that he is declaring war?" Sonny gazed at those young eyes as the boy laughed at him. " John, is Antonio declaring war?" "That is a rather broad term I think, besides that includes the rest of the clans." The boy made a show of thinking it over and shrugged. " It's more like a test. If you pass then you can live and keep your place. If not..." John waved a hand in the air, " You understand I am sure." "It's becoming very clear." Sonny muttered. " So why is he not here telling himself?" "Tony is very busy and has only certain amounts of time." John hopped down from the chair and brushed off the shoulders of his coat. " Speaking of which I am late for another meeting." Just before he reached the door Sonny said: " Why come back now?" The boy gave a devilish grin and chuckled, " Cameron came back, why not the rest of us?" With that he left and Sonny sank back in his chair. It was bound to happen with Archon dying and all. Those that he cast out of the city would try and get back in. Try to reestablish their old grounds. That was how it went when one leader died and another was chosen. But, the only thing wrong was their timing. Why was it that every time something was going good, the rest of life fell apart? That was question he had never been able to answer in all his years. Not thinking about it he reached for the phone and dialed Rebecca's number. She wasn't home for work yet so he left a message. Sonny glared at the files and shook his head. Blindly he reached for one and felt his shoulders tense up. Opening the cover he forced himself to read the facts and found his mind wandering. Cheerfully he made no attempt to stop it and was more then willing to imagine his girlfriend. Part Six Stepping out of a shower that had washed away the grime of the working day. Rebecca rubbed her hair with a towel as she sat down on the couch. Next to her was a table that held her phone and message machine. The light was blinking showing she a single message. Pressing the button she found herself humming as the machine rewind and clicked. "It's me," Sonny's voice sounded tired. " Give me a call." Grabbing the phone she dialed his work and got his machine. " Since this is machine and not you, I'll try your pager." Ending the call she counted to ten and dialed his pager. It was useless to sit and wait for him to call her back, so she paced. Minutes later her phone rang and she jumped. "Hi there." His voice sounded cheerful. " I was hoping you would call me." "I was in the shower when you called." She said and felt her toes curl up with delight. "Oh really?" He teased in a throaty voice. Giggles that would not stay down bubbled up from her and he chuckled. " It's good to hear you laugh." There was a shuffling of papers as he closed the file. " What do you say to meeting me for dinner?" "I'd say...." She paused and then laughed, "Yes of course, anything for a man in blue." "I'll be there in twenty minutes." He said, hanging up he grabbed his coat and left the office. For the first time in hours he felt okay with the world. As he crossed the foyer his happiness shattered as he met up with his Sire. "Something wrong Julian?" "You seem extremely pleased with something Sonny." The Prince regarded him with dark eyes. " I saw John did he say something good for a change?" "Not especially. The basic doom and gloom stuff, same as always." Sonny frowned at the look he got. " What Julian? You've never had any reason to not trust me." The Prince shook his head. " It's not that Sonny. I trust you more then anyone else I have. But I am concerned over this sudden change in your behavior. There is a very serious threat and I want to know I can count on you." "You just said you could!" Sonny snapped, " Look Julian, I am happy. It has been too long since I have ever been so happy." He glared at the man in front of him. "You have Caitlin, why can't I have someone?" The Prince flinched a little and took a step back. " You are right Sonny, I am sorry. Have a good night." The door to his office closed as Julian left and Sonny closed his eyes for a moment. Fighting with his Sire was not something he liked doing. Especially when their lives were in potential danger. Shrugging off the thoughts he left the compound and got into his car. Leaving the mansion behind he headed toward Rebecca's apartment. Not noticing the car that followed him. Chapter Seven Rebecca twirled in front of the mirror one last time and winked at her reflection. She knew the dress was flattering, but it wasn't that she was watching. It was the way her necklace sparkled and flashed in the lights of her bedroom. The emerald Lilly flared and glowed with a life of it's own. The gold gleamed against her skin and was warm to the touch. Satisfied that it couldn't get any better she dabbed on perfume and dashed to the front door. Peeking out to see if he had arrived, she sighed. Still nothing. She glanced at the clock on the wall and frowned. He was late, Sonny was never late. She considered calling his home to see if he had gone to change. But shook her head, he had said twenty minutes and that meant he was close by. Frowning as her worries began to mount she found herself biting her nails. It was a habit she had tried to break for the past fifteen years and never succeeded at doing. Just as she reached for the phone to call there came the signal and she threw the door open. "You're late." Was the first thing she said and instantly regretted it. " But you still look good to me." "Sorry, the day was a bit hectic." He smoothed a hand over his tie and held out the other one. " Are you willing to still go out?" She smiled at him, " I could never refuse you Sonny." As she hugged him he tried to keep his thoughts positive. "Where would you like to go?" "The same place as last time?" She offered as she grabbed her purse and locked her door. He gave a mock sigh, " I was thinking of something a bit bigger." She gazed at him, " For example?" "That is a surprise." He kissed her neck as they waited for the elevator. She leaned back against him and he wrapped his arms around her. "Becky," He whispered. " I love you." He heard the change in her breathing, the influx of her pulse. For a moment she was quiet and then she turned and looked at him. Her dark eyes were wide and there were tears in them. They had nothing to do with happiness. "Don't, don't ever say that to me unless you mean it." She begged and real pain showed on her face. " Say anything but that." Sonny gripped her, " But I do mean it. I do love you." Tears slid down her cheeks and she started to cry in great weeping sobs. Her hands pressed against her face and she shivered. As he reached to comfort her she pulled away. Turning her back to him as the emotions over powered her control. Sonny wrapped his arms around her and she collapsed against him. "Please trust me," He soothed, " Please, Becky, trust what I say." "I can't." She sobbed, " Not after what I saw." He frowned, " What did you see?" She sucked in a great breath and turned to look at him. " Sonny I know what you are, really. I know that you serve a dark man who rules like a king." She paused and wiped her eyes, " It doesn't bother me that you are a vampire. What scares me is that you couldn't tell me before now." He stared at her in open surprise, "How did you find out?" She touched the necklace and tears slid down her face. " I have always seen things Sonny. Whenever I touch objects I can read their past and I saw....I saw what you are." Reaching for her, he expected her to flinch away, but she stood still. Watching him with eyes that begged him for something he didn't have the strength to give. She was supposed to be his shelter, his pleasure among the pain. But now as he stared into her eyes and touched her flushed skin. He knew real pain. Not the kind that came with working or living a double life, but the real kind. The kind that ripped from the soul and tore at the heart and mind. "How long have you known?" She smiled softly, " Almost from the moment we met. When I shook hands with you at the station, I felt then what I know now." Her lips trembled as she fought back the tears and found it impossible. "I don't want to love you like I do, but I can't help myself.." "Why?" He felt his own eyes beginning to tear as he held her. "Why can't you love me?" "Because one day I'll die and it will be over." She threw herself into his chest and held onto him. " Why did it have to be you Sonny?" He held her, rocking back and forth as she sobbed against him. " I don't know." He choked as the tears started to drip from his eyes. "I wish I did." She shuddered and lifted her chin, " Sonny? What if it never did end?" Pulling away he stared at her in horror. " I can't. It's against the rules and besides this life it's hard and cruel. Even if it wasn't I wouldn't do this to you." "But I want you to do this, don't you understand that? I want to be with you, I don't care about the cost." Sonny laid a hand over her lips, " You don't know what you are saying." She pulled his hand away, "Then show me. Let me decide for myself, I am old enough." Sonny kissed her deeply taking her by surprise, gently releasing her he cupped her face and smiled. " You are determined aren't you?" "Sonny," Her words were firm, " I have seen horrible things all my life. Whatever your world is like, it has to be better then mine." He laughed and it was bitter. " If only that were true. But I know you well enough to know that if I don't show you, you'll go on your own." "Damn right I will." She nodded. " I won't loose you over something like this Sonny." "You may not have a choice my love." He said as the elevator doors opened and they walked in. As the elevator doors closed, directly across from them another. opened and closed. The child was small and no more then fifteen at most. She wiped blood from her mouth and grinned a set of fangs. Using the bloody hand, she pulled out the cell phone and hit speed dial. "It's me, tell him we have everything we need." Part Eight Caribbean Blue ghosted across the packed night club as the patrons drank their imported wines. Enya's haunting voice dimly rose above the chatter as they all talked and laughed. On the second floor Lilly watched with intent eyes, searching each face for nothing in particular. There were nights when she couldn't push aside the memories, this was one of those nights. When everywhere she looked, she saw a familiar face, heard a laugh that reminded her of someone. So she stood at a window and watched her domain with haunted eyes. Just in case one of those familiar faces showed up. Usually she liked to stand in the crowds, move around and feel them. But tonight, there was something wrong tonight. Lifting the crystal glass to her lips she sipped the bitter-sweet wine and looked around. Her gaze stopped at the stairs and she leaned closer to the window. Sonny had his arm around a girl that looked a little young for him. It wasn't her age that had caught the Toreador, it was her jewelry. The emerald flower glowed with it's own radiance in the dark light of the club. Lilly recognized the necklace and drank in the features of the girl. She was in her early twenties with dark hair and pure black eyes. Her build was slight but not weak, thin without being a stick. There was no tension to her or anything remotely harmful. A change from the usual that came here. Lilly saw a timid sadness that came only from having a secret. Sonny spoke to her and departed, Lilly saw him heading for Julian's table. The girl sat down at the bar and one of the tenders served her. She didn't make any small talk with the people next to her. Instead she sat and stared out at the club, searching for something. Lilly descended to the main floor and watched the girl intently. Under her cool hand the wood was smooth and warm. Pausing one step from the floor she took one last moment to watch before acting. Moving between the crowds she tried to read as much as possible. The girl was simple and human and held no danger to anyone. Regular was one word to describe her. Without realizing it the Toreador leader found herself inches from the girl. She turned and their eyes met; it was then that Lilly saw what had drawn Sonny to her. A soul so deep and so trusting that it was breathtaking. No walls or barriers prevented you from seeing what was inside. There was no deception in her, no lies or falsehood. She was exactly what you saw. "You okay?" She asked in a voice that was light. Lilly pulled in a breath and tore her gaze off the girl. " I was admiring your necklace." Her hand went to the emerald flower and her eyes softened. There was a flash of love and then shyness in the dark depths. "Thanks, it's a gift." "He must like you a lot." Lilly regained her composure as the girl blushed. " What does he do?" She hesitated, watching the woman, there was a look of uncertainty for a moment. "He's in law enforcement." Lilly smiled and took the vacant seat next to her, one of the bartenders handed her a fresh glass of wine. There was a moment of silence. " Have you been going out long?" "A few months." More silence. "My name is Lilly, I own the place." The girl looked up with startled eyes and smiled, " Really? I have always wanted to come in here and take a look. But....Well I just never felt I could." "I've never heard that one." Lilly arched a brow, "What changed your mind?" A hand went to the pendant, " He did." She smiled, " He gives me a confidence I've never had before. It's like a piece of myself has been returned." Lilly felt herself go cold and shivered; fear cut deep into her gut as she gazed at the young woman. Her eyes bright and happy with memories. In order to cover her shock, the vampire took a sip of her wine and couldn't swallow it. Rising from her seat she moved to leave when those eyes turned to her. "You seem worried," Becky spoke gently looking at Lilly with a searching gaze. The light of understanding flicked on and it was like she seemed to shrink. Her shoulders hunched and she literally seemed to grow smaller. " I am sorry, I have said something strange haven't I?" "No, no, it's not you." Lilly choked the words out. " Please excuse me, I have some business to attend, please enjoy yourself." Once in her office, she slammed the door shut and leaned against it. Her hands clutched at her throat as she felt the memory of the necklace. Going to the window she stared out at the girl and shivered again. When Lilly had first owned the necklace, she had said those exact words. In the same tone of voice and in the same way that the girl had just done. For a moment Lilly had been seeing herself in that stranger. The vampire could only hope it wouldn't end for that girl like it had for her three hundred years ago.