"Hello, Lilah," I greet her, letting the name roll lazily on my tongue. "How very fortunate you should arrive. Let me buy you a drink."
Damn, she's cool!
It's official. I lived in California for too long, and spent too much time with those kids. I can only hope not to say aloud anything too... teenagy.
She cocks an eyebrow.
"I want to make up for my untoward behavior of last time we met."
I think I notice the faintest tremor go through her at the mention of the kiss. Or maybe I'm just flattering myself. What I know is that she didn't expect me to bring it up. Nice guy, high school librarian, Mr. Giles would try to forget all about it. I'm sure she can eat up that Mr. Giles and spit him out whole. Lilah would respond to Ripper, though.
I decide to go straight for the heart of the issue.
"What would it take to wave your attorney-client confidentiality?"
I stood there watching him carefully. Is it just me or are there more simularites between him and Wesley than I thought? No it has to be just me. I get the feeling that he's aware that the firm knows what he's been up to,if his tone of voice is any indication.
I sat down next to him at the bar. I looked over at Benny,who's anxiously awaiting my drink order. "Sure scotch would be great." Benny just nods and runs off like a good little bartender. I looked straight at Mr. Giles,as he got straight to the point. My kind of man,ruggedly handsome and good at getting straight to business.
Benny came back a few moments later with my drink. I gave him a small smile,then turned my attention back to Mr. Giles. "What exactly are you getting at Mr. Giles?"
We wait for her drink. I don't want Benny listening in. We could get a booth, or go someplace else, but that would feel too much like a date. I did a really good job of not thinking about her. I take the opportunity to inspect her. She's absolutely stunning, in her ice queen way. She looks just a little tired. Not her usual tired-bored. More of a tired-busy. Come to think of it, she appeared in the bar shortly after I arrived, and according to Benny-boy, she hadn't been around for weeks. This looks a lot like a business outing for her.
Good. This means that my efforts got back to the big brass at her firm. Exactly what I wanted.
Her drink comes, and I can't help a small smirk when the bartender scatters away, despite the perfect little smile she gives him.
"What exactly are you getting at Mr. Giles?"
"I want you to tell me something about Cyvus Vail. I know that he was one of the clients of your LA office. I think you can tell me who commissioned him for a large scale mind alteration a few months ago in California."
I'm sure she appreciates my candor. I'm also sure that she's not going to tell me the truth. Or anything at all.
I take a sip from my drink,befor talking to him. "It's not my case nor is he my client Mr. Giles,so I'm not sure how much help I'd be to you." I took my drink and moved further down the bar.
I was lying of course, when I said I couldn't get the information that he wants. I probably could if I pulled a few strings. I sipped more of my drink and regaurded him quietly. "I'm sorry I wish I could be of more help to you,but I can't. Thanks for the drink though." I smiled at him and Benny,as I finished off my drink.
I can't hold back a chuckle.
"Yes, I'm sure you're a very helpful person. You have this air of helpfulness about you. I can tell that you'd cooperate willingly, if only it were in your power."
I can feel her wanting to leave. I guess she wasn't briefed on how to respond.
"If there's anything I can do to persuade you to do some inquiries, please tell me. I would go as far as to hire you to look into the matter. I know how to get the memories back. What I need, is to learned who did it, and why."
My tone was grows more serious with every sentence. I put steel into it when I deliver the next line.
"Someone fucked with my memory, and this is not something I tolerate."
I smiled at him. "Oh I can be extremely helpful,if there's something in it for me. And there's nothing you can say or do that'll persaude me to get you the informaton you want Mr. Giles."
I can tell from his tone,that he's pissed about what little information he did manage to get. And I know exactly who did the minde wipe,after all I'm the one that finalised the deal.
Undead bastard really should've just left well enough alone. I should be the one having to deal with the fall out from his stupid decision making skills.
I looked at the very ticked off British man in front of me. "Like I said I can't help you" I glanced at Benny then walked out of the pub.
So, she'd tell me if I had something she wants. I have a lot of things Wolfram and Hart wants, but I wouldn't trade any of them. I have other things I am willing to trade. We're not on the same side, but maybe on some patches of the war between good and evil, our sides can be, even if momentarily, side by side.
She smiles at me before she leaves. I watch her walking away from me while I pay for our drinks. Damn, she has a fine body under that her clothes. I love the way her dress hugs her curves. Nothing obvious, nothing too showy, but alluring enough to make me do something stupid. Again
I follow her from a short distance. She deactivates the alarm when she's two feet from the car.
I slap myself mentally. Not a repeat performance, Giles!
I hurry up, and open her car door for her.
"Allow me," I say, keeping the door open for her.
I love to see her flinch. Old Ripper still got it.
I left the pub and made my way to my car. I took the alarm off of it,but before I could reach to open the door it was already open. I looked at the man holding my car door open for me.
I sighed it's late I'm tired and in no mood to deal with his games. I folded my arms and looked directly at him. "What do you want?" I don't really have time for this,I have a case to prepare for.
Normally I'm all for a little danger and slightly morally ambigious men,but not tonight. Not when I have court all day tomorrow,and need to try and get some sleep. "Look if it's about the mind wipe,go find someone who cares to answer your damn questions." I snapped as I started to get into my car.
"What do you want?" she says, all cool and vaguely annoyed.
Whoa! She certainly got it too. The woman's probably unbreakable. But she has a very endearing slip up.
"...if it's about the mind wipe"
Why, Ms. Morgan, what else could it possibly be about? Since the topic is too hot for me as well, I don’t mention it.
She steps toward the car, I step closer, too. I'm not touching her, but I'm too close for comfort. I lean just a little, so my mouth is right by her ear. I know my breath tickles her earlobe, and her neck. My tone is silky, my words civil. I only show her the velvet glove.
"Vail was your client in Los Angeles. I'm sure you have the dirt on him. I'd much rather make an appeal to your common sense, rather than go to see him in person. There's no need to start a new war over this."
I take a step back, waiting for her to get in the car. She has her back to me when I add three little words in a tone that hints of the iron fist under the velvet.
"Or is there?"
I sighed in annoyance,as I shut the car door and leaned back against the car. The man was strating to get on my nerves. What is it with Watchers and their need to know the truth about damn near everything?
Wesley was the same way,speaking of dear ol' Wes I wonder how he's doing? Probably off with his perfect little Texas sweetheart. Back to my current problem. I swear it's part of their Watcher trainning,right up there with 'how not to get your slayer killed.'
"He was a client of mine,keyword being was. Incase you failed to notice I don't work for the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram and Hart anymore. And as for starting another war over said information,it's a bit late for that don't you think? "
I let another sigh. "I swear you damn Watchers are all alike." I let out a small bitter laugh. "Never happy with what you have, you always want more or you want what you can't possibly have"
Ok that's it as of right the hell now, I'm done dealing with annoyingly handsome British men. Mainly fucking Watchers. I moved off my car and opened the door,and got in starting the engine.
Good thing she left in without waiting for my reply because I must look rather stupid with my jaw dropped all the way down to the ground. Did she just tell me that whatever was behind the mind alteration had already started a war? What the hell was going on in California?!
The other bit of information she let slip was just as shocking. She talked about Watchers. She talked as if she had known at least one. Intimately. Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, but somehow, there is only one name on my list.
That boy was a disaster in Sunnydale. He nearly destroyed two Slayers. He chose a vampire over his loyalty to the old Council.
Of course, all this could be a ploy. She was a very accomplished actress, after all. This could be a subtle and very complicated power play. To drive the Council and Angel's people against one another. To drive me against Angel. Because they know, they bloody well know I can influence the Slayers, and the Wiccas.
My head started pounding. What if there is no war, and I am on the brink of starting one if I keep looking? What if there is a war, and by not knowing I can't choose the right side?
I go through my options again. Who can help me? Who can I trust?