Please Email comments to Janette.


by Janette Zeitler
Copyright 1996

Chapter 1

Lillie leaned back against a booth in the Haven, her eyes roaming around the club. She was dead tired, and everytime she closed her eyes she saw Julian's face. His eyes haunted her, those eyes that had stared at her with such distrust it made her want to cry. She knew she deserved it, of course, she had nearly gotten him killed because of her jealousy. Not to mention she'd endangered the Masquerade. She took a sip from the glass she held, trying to hold back the wave of tears that threatened to overwhelm her. But she could not, as red droplets began to fall into her glass. *** The fire's roar was in the distant background of Julian Luna's thoughts. At one moment he thought of Archon, whom he had trusted like a father, and been so bitterly betrayed that despite the years between the deed it was hard to forgive. He reflected upon his relationship with Caitlyn, who accepte him despite what he was. However, he couldn't help but contemplate his relationship with Lillie. It surprised him to be thinking of her, but he was just the same. Her red hair, fiery eyes, and the way she would melt like a snowflake next to him. At times he wondered what was behind the mask she wore for the world, and he knew at times she wondered the same of him. Of course, there was Cameron to worry about. Cameron, who would make Eddie look like a saint. There was something about Cameron that got to Julian in a way Eddie had never been able to. Brujah always got to Julain, however. He winced at the mental image of Sasha, whom he had tried so hard to protect. With a bitter sigh, he leaned back into his chair and closed his eyes. *** Cameron walked into the Haven, ignoring the fact that it was closed. He watched Lillie crying silently, red droplets falling into her glass. He knew almost immediately that this was quite a rarity. This seemed, also, to be the perfect time to get close to her. With a self assured smile, he slid into the booth next to her. Gratefully, he wiped the tears from her face and licked them off his finger. "It is that dog Julian that has upset you so, is it not, Ms. Langtree?" Lillie looked up at him. "What are you doing here? The Haven's closed." "I came only to lay eyes upon your beauty," Cameron responded smoothly. "Well, take a picture," Lillie said, standing. The last thing she needed was to get involved in any way with another Brujah. "A picture could never capture your beauty," Cameron said, standing as well. "He is not worth your tears, Ms. Langtree." "Oh, and you are?" Lillie retorted, moving away from Cameron. He grabbed her hand tightly, pulling her back towards him. "Come with me, just one night. Come with me and I'lll take you any where you desire. Then if you still wish to sit here and weep over a man who'd rather have a," Cameron's lip curled in disgust, "mortal, be my guest." Lillie raised an eyebrow delicately. "Let me guess, this is the part where I cuddle up against you and say I will be with you forever," she replied sarcastically. "No, you do that after this," he said, and kissed her passionately. The move stunned her, and so she did not resist. As the kiss grew in intensity, she found herself returning it, hesitantly at first, until her whole body and soul melted in his embrace.

Chapter 2

Julian walked into the Haven and looked for Lillie. He'd tried to come up with some excuse for going to her nightclub: everything from Kindred business, to an urge to listen to the music, but the truth of the matter was he only wished to see her. That, and the fact that Caitlyn is out of town, a small part of his mind whispered to him. But he ignored it. He wished to see Lillie, not Caitlyn. The fact that Caitlyn was out of town for the week had nothing to do with it, he rationalized. But his motivations for coming ended up proving futile, as she was nowhere to be found. He wandered over to the bar, still trying to find her. Briana, a Kindred waitress with long blond hair and beautiful gray eyes, leaned forward on her elbows as the Prince of the city sat down. "She's not here," Briana said wiht a smirk, pouring him a glass of wine. "Where is she?" Julian asked, trying to sound as if he wasn't interested, but just making conversation. Briana pushed a glass towards him. "She went out," the beautiful Toreador stated coldly. Julian shrugged and took a sip from the glass. But Briana continued to press the subject. "Aren't you at all curious as to where she went? And whom she went with?" "You're going to tell me anyway," Julian said with a smile of his own. Briana gazed at him from under her dark lashes. "What, Caitlyn's not here so you want to have Lillie instead?" "What about Caitlyn?" Julian asked, instantly on guard. "Everybody knows about the two of you, Julian. And I do mean everybody." Briana saw another customer seat himself at the other end of the bar and hurred over to serve him. Julian, meanwhile, was surprised that Lillie had let the rumors get so far out of hand. He took another sip from his wine as Briana walked back. "So? Do you want to know who she's with or not?" Julian gave a sigh. "Fine," he said, leaning back. "Well," Briana licked her lips, savouring the moment. "Lillie's finally decided not to sit around and wait for you. She's out with *Cameron,*" at Julian's blank stare she added, "the new Brujah primogen." Julian did his best to keep a reign on his temper. "Is she?" was all he could say, his anger at Cameron rising. Briana smirked yet again. "Yes, she is. So why don't you go run back to your little mortal girlfriend. Julian gave her a warning look, at which Briana simply laughed. "You don't scare or frighten me. You can't hurt me simply because you do not like me. If you banish me from the city, I'll simply go somewhere else. It doesn't make that much of a difference." Briana tossed her golden hair behind her head. "So, now who you going to go to?" Julian was doing a rather bad job at controlling his temper at this young Toreador with little to no class. She didn't know enough to be afraid of his temper. "No one. As I said, I an not here to see her." "You never said that," Briana grinned again. "In fact, you didn't say anything, I did!" Suddenly, Briana's grin faded as she spotted something interesting by the entrance. "Julian, dear, I think you should turn around," she said, her voice satisfied and confrontational. Julian did. Lillie was sauntering into her club, on the arm of the primogen of the Brujah.

Chapter 3

Julian stood slowly, his face composed and calm, if not his emotions. Lillie smiled at him, stopped about 20 feet away from him, and turned to Cameron. "Would you like to dance?" she asked, pushing her body against his. He brushed his lips against hers softly, and she purred and moved even closer next to him. "Maybe we should greet the masses first," Cameron replied to her request. She gracefully nodded her head, giving in. "Maybe we should at that," she smiled and linked her arm with his as they walked towards Julian. "Hello Julian," Lillie purred when she saw him. "Lillie," he greeted cooly, composed as always. Cameron nodded his head towards Julian in greeting. Julian turned to look at him, his eyes cold. "Cameron." Lillie was overcome with a strong urge to say it wasn't what he thought, and she smiled. {{It's not like he owns me}} she thought. {{He never has.}} "So what are you doing here?" she asked him. "There's some business we need to discuss." "Regarding?" "Not here." "Oh *that* kind of business." "Kindred business," Julian said, his voice cold and low. "There's a meeting in two hours, it couldn't wait until then?" "No it couldn't." "Well, then, since it's Kindred business where's Cash, and Daedalus and all of them, hmm?" Julian shot her a cold look. "It has to do with *your* clan." "Oh does it?" "Yes." Julian said shortly. Cameron, meanwhile, leaned against the counter of the Haven and sighed, getting a little bit bored. Briana leaned against the other side of the counter as well, and couldn't help but stare at him with interest. "Yes?" Cameron asked. "Nothing," Briana said with a small smile, and turned away. Cameron smiled, as she left, then turned his attention back to Julian and Lillie, who were still arguing. "Well, what *about* my clan?" "There getting out of control, in case you haven't noticed." "And what is *that* supposed to imply?" "It's supposed to imply that you aren't doing your job. Your Primogen of the Toreador first." "It used to be that I was your girlfriend before all else, or don't you remember?" "It *never* was like that. And we were over a *very* long time ago." "Whatever you say Julian," Lillie responded coldly. Cameron, who was beginning to feel a little left out of the argument, jumped in, "Well, however it was before, it's not like that anymore." The two of them turned to look at him like he was an intruder. Cameron sighed and leaned back against the counter, while they went back to there argument. "What I have to discuss with you has *nothing* to do with yourself and *him*," Julian nodded his head, indicating Cameron. "Why didn't you bring it up at the Conclave then?" "Because your position as Primogen isn't that secure right now, and you know that Ever since that incident with Zane." "So you're going to throw *that* in my face now?!" "I wasn't throwing it in your face, Lillie. I was simply pointing out that any more damage to your reputation at this point could prove to be very difficult." "Are you saying that being with Cameron is damaging my reputation as Primogen?" she asked, her eyes widening with anger. Cameron looked up as his name was mentioned. Both Lillie and Julian were glaring at each other, still. "I never said any such thing," Julian said quietly, "but if you think so . . . who am I to argue?" "I don't care if you're the Prince of the Universe, you don't control who I date!" "I never said I did," Julian smiled inwardly, knowing how it annoyed Lillie when he acted so calm. "You implied as such," she hissed. "I assure you, no matter *what* you thought I implied, I didn't mean that you couldn't date whomever you like." "And why should you anyway?!!! You have Caitlin, why can't *I* have Cameron." Cameron was getting rather annoyed, and spoke up, "Who's Caitlin?" he asked curiously. "You stay out of this!!!" Lillie hissed, acting as if he was the enemy. "Caitlin is Lillie's replacement," Julian said darkly, then blinked, surprised that he'd let his temper get the best of him. "I *knew* it!" Lillie's voice rose in anger. "She's nothing more to you than Cam -- " Lillie blushed and looked away. "Then Cam *what*?" Cameron asked sharply. "Then you are to her, of course." Julian seemed to have a habit that day of answering all of Cameron's questions. "And if that is true than the two of you were meant to be together." "Oh, so now you and Caitlin are*destined* for each other? Give me a break, Julian." Cameron sighed and leaned back against the counter, again. "I liked it better when I was out of the conversation," he muttered. "This is getting tiring," Julian said. "I am here to discuss Kindred business, if you wish to discuss something else, make an appointment." "Excuse me? Make an appointment? Just who do you think you are, Julian?" "I think, that I am Prince of the City, and that if you dont't get your clan organized within a week I'll have to find another Toreador Primogen." "First you'd better concentrate on finding yourself a new roommate, Julian. I'm out of there, I'll just stop by tomorrow to get my thngs." "Whatever you feel you must do," Julian replied. "Just tell me where you are moving when you get settled in so that I can contact you in an emergency." "Oh, no need Julian. I already know where I'm going to live. With Cameron." Lillie leaned back against the counter and wrapped her arms around him. Julian didn't miss noticing Cameron's slight look of surprise, immediately covered. "Of course," Cameron replied. "I wish you all the happiness in the world, Lillie," Julian said. "But remember, you have a week." "Thank you so much for your generosity," Lillie said icily. Julian turned and left without glancing back. Lillie watched him go with very mixed emotions. Cameron also watched him go, then turned towards Lillie. "Shall we have our dance now," he asked. "Of course, Cameron," she said, and they moved out to the dance floor. While dancing, however, Cameron looked distant, and quiet. Lillie bit her lip lightly, wondering just how much the Brujah primogen understood of Julian and her conversation. Suddenly, for no reason she could possible understand, she kissed Cameron, hard, and whispered into his ear, "Let's go home."

Chapter 4

Lillie stood outside Julian's mansion, pausing to get her thoughts together. She knew Julian couldn't really fire her as Toreador Primogen, but she also knew that it would be to her advantage to do as he demanded and get her clans act together. Many Toreador had become restless, coming dangerously close to endangering the Masquerade. But knowing that she should do something and actually doing it were two very different things. With all that had been going on lately between the two of them, she was tempted to disobey him just to anger him. Since he couldn't really ask for a new primogen. If he could have, he would have asked for a replacement for Eddie long ago. Lillie walked inside and headed for her bedroom. When she arrived there the first thing she did was fish her suitcase out of the closet, place it on the bed, and begin to open drawers and closets. She was half-way through her task when she saw Sasha standing in the doorway, watching her. Lillie turned towards the teenager and motioned for her to come in. "Lillie? Why are you leaving?" Sasha asked softly, trailing into Lillie's bedroom, taking a seat on the couch, and watching her continue to pack. Lillie paused in her task to consider the question seriously. "Because, I'm tired of watching him and Caitlin together." Sasha hesitated, knowing that what she was about to say could be perceived as rudeness. But she continued anyway, "You'd rather be with the Brujah primogen then with the Prince of the City?" Lillie smiled. "You remind me so much of myself when I was younger," she said softly. "But it's not about that. I don't have a choice. I can either continue to play the desperate woman, following Julian around and hoping to patch things up, or I can move on. I'd rather move on." Sasha thought about that for a while, as Lillie finished packing. Lillie was just about to leave when Sasha thought of something. "Lillie? What if he still loves you?" "He's proven that he doesn't enough times. I don't know if he ever did." On that note, Lillie left, leaving Sasha to ponder her own love life. *** Lillie really hated Cameron's apartment. It was dark, drab, and far to business like. And since Cameron was busy doing whatever it was Brujah did during the day, Lillie decided to redecorate. Last night they'd come to his apartment and went to bed. She hadn't had much of a chance to look around. So the first place she headed was towards the bedroom. One glance, and she knew that Cameron was the perfect Brujah. Of course, the regular requirement was that they must be obsessed with two things, money and power. Obviously Cameron fit that profile perfectly. Because his tastes . . . Lillie couldn't repress a shudder. ((This is going to take all day)) she thought, and she headed downstairs for the phone. Five hours later, Lillie prowled around the renovated apartment feeling much more at home. The walls were pained in an assortment of color by various hired professionals. The bedspread Cameron had used was in the trash, replaced by her own. Cameron had zero personal items in the apartment, so Lillie put in her own. The place looked great. It smelled terribly of paint, but other than that it was wonderful. Lillie hummed to herself as she left the apartment and headed towards her club.

Chapter 5

Cameron was completely and utterly shocked that members of his clan could have been so stupid as to appoint Eddie Fiori Primogen. It was no wonder Julian hated Brujah after having to deal with Eddie on a daily basis. It had been two weeks since he had first come to San Francisco -- and he hadn't had more then twenty minutes peace, besides when he was sleeping, because things were so completely out of hand. There were thousands of papers in Eddie's filing cabinets, with thousands of forms, and thousands of problems. Cameron signed what had to be the millionth paper and gave it to one of Cameron's personal secretaries to deliver to a member of the Toreador Clan. He couldn't help but wonder just what it was that Eddie did all day and all night, while these things piled up. * Probably he either flirted with Lillie, or ploted different ways of killing Julian, * Cameron thought with contempt. Not that he had anything against either two pasttimes, but his plots and plans for both of them were so pathetically stupid it made him ill just thinking about it. Eddie had been about as subtle as a moving train, if that much. Maybe it was just personal taste, but Cameron liked to think that his own personal technique worked much better. But at the rate things were going now, it would probably be another ten years before Cameron could put any of his plans in to action, save the one with Lillie. Cameron signed a form as he thought some more about Lillie. He wasn't quite sure himself what his plans for Lillie were, or even if they would work or not. He knew that it would be a very intelligent plan to use Lillie against the Prince. What he wasn't so sure about was what to do now. Lillie had moved out of the mansion, and was treating Julian the way he should be treated, like garbage. But Cameron had no idea where to go from there. One possible idea was to find out a bit more about Caitlin. It seemed as though Caitlin and Julian were quite close, from what he'd heard at the Haven the other night. Possibly Caitlin had taken Lillie's place in Julian's life. And that would mean that Cameron's plan had been for nothing, because Julian didn't care what Lillie did anymore. But for some reason that didn't seem quite right, in Cameron's opinion. Julian had looked genuinely jealous last night at the Haven. Cameron sighed and stood up. Every Kindred he'd ever known had always said that it was impossible for Kindred to be physically ill. Cameron's headache was proving them wrong. The best thing to do, he thought, was to go home and get some sleep. All this paperwork could certainly wait another day, after all, it had waited for twelve years. *** Lillie watched with contempt as Julian wakled into the Haven, with his slut, Caitlin, on his arm. * He has some nerve bringing that bitch into my establishment, * Lillie thought icily. "Lillie?" Lillie turned around and saw the waitress, Briana, standing behind the bar and watching her. "What is it?" Lillie asked. She rather liked Briana, the young Toreador was fresh and honest, if a bit abrupt. She was refreshing. But this time Briana appeared to be a little bit nervous. "Um," she started. "What is it?" Lillie repeated, impatient. "Are you using Cameron to get to Julian?" Briana asked bluntly, after taking another deep breath. Lillie smiled at her. "I'll put it to you this way -- I'm using Cameron as much as Cameron is using me. No more, and no less." "But what if he's not using you?" Briana asked. "Briana, think for a minute. Cameron is a Brujah. What is it that Brujah want more than anything? Power," Lillie answered her own question. Briana appeared happy by the news. "So -- you don't think he cares about you? I mean, not at all?" Lillie couldn't help but laugh at how obvious Briana could be. "You want him, don't you?" she asked. Briana smiled. "Guess you found me out," she said sheepishly. "It was rather obvious," Lillie told her. "Anyway, no I * don't * think Cameron truly cares for me, at least not in the way you mean. So, feel more than free to get him for yourself." "Thank you, Lillie," Briana said simply. "Wait," Lillie said to her. "What is it?" Briana asked. "Do you think you could do me a favor, seeing as I've been so generous with my advice and everything?" Lillie asked. "Anything," Briana agreed. "Find a way, anyway at all, to get them," Lillie gestured to Julian and Caitlin, "out of here." "But, why?" Briana asked, puzzled. "Right now Cameron thinks I'm the closest person to Julian. If he finds out about Caitlin, my plan will be ruined." "But that could work to your advantage as well, couldn't it? If Cameron and Caitlin get together, Julian would be free to be with you." Lillie shook her head. "You're wrong, Briana. Julian would * never * in a million years allow Cameron to be with Caitlin. But there's nothing he can do about Cameron and myself." Briana laughed, "You're right of course! That's why you're the primogen and I'm the waitress! Just one more question." "What?" "You planned all of this from the very beginning?" "Not from the beginning. Let me put it to you this way, the opportunity presented itself, and I simply couldn't resist. Understand?" Briana nodded and hurried away on her mission.

Chapter 6

Caitlin Byrne was getting extremely tired of being used. As far as she was concerned, Julian Luna was the biggest jerk of all time, and deserved to die a slow and painful death. Which still didn't answer her question as to why she agreed to go to dinner with him that night. The Haven was as crowded as usual, if not more so, considering it was a Saturday night. Lillie was over by the counter, talking to the waitress behind the bar, presumably about Club business, and Julian was sitting across from her. So far neither one of them had said anything. She didn't know if it was because neither one of them could think of anything to say, or because both of them knew that something was hanging un-said in the air, and both were waiting for the other to come clean. Caitlin simply did'nt know, but thinking about it gave her a headache. "So," she started, fidgeting nervously and trying to think of something to say. "How are things?" "Things are fine, Caitlin. How do you like your job at the paper?" he asked, sounding equally polite. Somehow the conversation seemed artificial, and it had only just begun. "It's . . . busy," she finally answered. "I haven't had much time to myself I'm afraid. It seems as if the more papers we sell the more work there is to be done, instead of less." "Well," Julian agreed, "Some jobs are like that. The better you are at them the more work must go into them." "I supopse," she said, agreeing with his agreement. "So, what else -- " "What do you want?" interrupted another voice. Caitlin turned and saw the waitress Lillie had been talking to before was now standing at their table, waiting for their order. "Nothing, thanks," Caitlin said to Julian as he prepared to tell the waitress. "Nothing, hmm? Look, this isn't a park bench. Either you order something, you dance, or you leave!" Julian shot the waitress an icy look, and the waitress glanced over towards the bar where Lillie was sitting, watching with a satisfied smile. "Um, I'll just have some wine, then," Caitlin said, sounding uncomfortable. "What kind?" Caitlin read the waitresses, name plate, and then looked up again at Briana. "What kind do you have?" "This is a night club, not a winery!" Briana complained. "I think you'd better leave now," Julian warned her. Briana tossed him a cold look, then stalked away. "Do you want to go someplace else?" Julian offered. "No, thanks, that's okay." Caitlin told him. "Are you sure?" he offered a second time. "It's no big deal," Caitlin said, somewhat coldly. "Anyway, you were saying?" "I wasn't." There was a long pause in the conversation, and Caitlin nervously looked around the room, trying to come up with a topic of discussion. "Look," she began, "about the other day . . . " "Yes?" "I'm sorry I didn't believe you . . . about, you know, what happened in Manzinata." "It's no problem Caitlin," Julian pacified her, then looked at his watch. Caitlin looked at hers as well, and took the hint. "I should get going, I have a deadline in 2 days, I really wanted to start writing that article." "I'll call you tomorrow," Julian promised. "Yeah, right. Good night, Julian." "Night Caitlin, you need a ride?" "No, I have my car with me," Caitlin informed him. She stood up, and without another word walked out of the Haven.