Discalimer: I don't own any of them.
Summary: The Universe seemingly thought Vicki didn't have enough to deal with, what with an overprotective Police Detective and a constantly romance attempting vampire, and thus decided that it was time to add some injury to insult; a house goblin, and Vicki's mother.
"Trust me, mom, inviting Henry for dinner? Not a good idea." Unless you want him to have the waitress for dinner, that is.
Second chapter here. I read the Blood Books so i know Vicki's mom is the sweetest ever, but for plot purposes I made her more similar to my mom XD the woman is scary, let me tell you.
Under the sign of Capricorn
“…was that supposed to happen?” Coreen asked uncertainly, waving her hand to move the smoke away from her face.
Henry blinked, his eyes stinging from the smoke and the light that had erupted from the brief but blazing fire. “I can’t be certain, but with our luck, it’s unlikely.”
They exchanged a look, and then glanced back at the burnt spot on the magnificent floorboards.
“You think they’ll charge Vicki for that?”
“I hope not.” Henry said honestly, wincing at the thought.
As the smoke started clearing up, Henry studied the rest of the house. Besides the great, pentagram-shaped burn on the woods covering the floor, there seemed to be no damage. And he was finally unable to sense any kind of presence in the house besides himself and Coreen’s steady but agitated heartbeat.
After carefully inspecting the house to make sure there was no such presence, however dim, Henry assured Coreen they had managed (and he couldn’t quite explain how) to eliminate the goblin. The case was thus solved, Henry thought with some satisfaction expertly hidden beneath his face of polite attention as he and Coreen left the house, locking the door behind.
Climbing into Henry’s Jaguar, Coreen paused with the seatbelt on her hand and waited for Vicki to pick up her cell phone.
“Coreen.” Henry heard her voice across the air, pausing as he ignited the car’s engine.
“It’s done. Henry says there are no traces of the goblin left.”
“Good. Thanks, Coreen. And good work.” She added.
“Hey!”Coreen called when she realized she was about to hung up. Vicki returned the cell to her face. “You don’t have anything else to say? To anybody?” she pressed.
Vicki snorted. “Partners don’t get praises, Henry. So sorry.” And she hung up.
Henry grinned, only mildly annoyed. He dropped Coreen off at her house, as she was well past working hours, and steered his car back to his condo. He had fed earlier that night to prevent the Hunger to bother him while they were performing the banishing ritual, and now realized that had been a very good idea. With both those tasks out of the way, he could settle down and concentrate on inking the last three panels of the last page on his novel. They were quite detailed and needed a lot of attention.
Two hours later, satisfied at how well the panels had wound up and as he slipped between the sheets, a sudden noise from his kitchen had him sitting bolt upright in the bed. His senses stretched out in alarm to identify the source of the noise, but brusquely slammed against the sun rising outside, and he dropped back, gripped by the day.
As he became aware of himself once more at dusk, the thought of the noise filtered back into his awakening senses and had him shooting out of bed before he even managed to rid his limbs of the rubber like feeling of death. He had only stepped out of his bedroom when he noticed the presence surrounding him, a presence that proved familiar, as he padded to the kitchen to find that all the stainless steel cooking tools had been thrown out of the cupboard into the tiled floor.
He knew quite well what lived in cupboards. What he didn’t know was how the damned goblin had followed him home, or why for that matter.
Biting back a snarl, he stormed away into his bathroom, took a long shower, dressed and only then, once more with his temper perfectly under control, called Vicki.
“Henry.” She answered.
“Vicki. Say, just how much did you and Coreen research on goblins, before we banished it?”
“What? Oh. Coreen did it on her own, I was working the other case about the runaway werewolf kid—does this sound progressively weirder to you too or is it just my paranoia?”
“It’s only paranoia until it becomes true.” He agreed, smiling slightly. “Did you find him?”
“Hiding with his girlfriend. Kids these days. Anyway, why were you asking about goblins?”
“The goblin. It took residence in my kitchen cupboard.”
There was a pause on the other side of the line. “Well, you did want a pet.”
In fact, it had been her who had joked about buying him one. “I thought you said you were going to buy me a bat.” She had also mentioned she’d call it Renfield, but Henry saw no need to return to that discussion at the moment.
“Bat, goblins, whatever. And I take you want to hire me to get rid of it?” she teased.
“Hire you? I think I’ve earned some help for free.”
“Right, give someone you hand and he’ll grab your elbow. Fine, come over, we’ll take a look at your case.”
Henry was still chuckling as he closed the door to his condo, and twenty minutes later, in an unexpectedly good mood, he was stepping into Vicki’s office, shrugging off his elegant black coat.
He leaned on the doorframe and Vicki looked up from her notes to acknowledge him even as she continued speaking on the phone. Even from the distance across the room he could hear Detective Celucci’s voice as he tried to convince her of something, and for privacy’s sake he didn’t bother to try and decipher his words.
“That’s great, Mike, but I think I’ll pass.” She said with such finality to her tone that had Henry arching his eyebrows. A second later she hung up, cutting off Celucci’s lingering protests.
At Henry’s inquisitive gaze, she shrugged. “The Police Academy is a hundred and fifty years this year and they make a party, we’re all supposed to go.”
Henry smiled wolfishly. “Are you in need of a date?”
“I said I’m not going.”
“Why not?” he asked, genuinely curious, sitting in front of her across the desk.
She shrugged again. “A bunch of people that remember me from when I was in the Police? No thanks.”
Ah. So the problem was her eyes. She didn’t want those people to know she was not at her best. Henry felt the urge to tell her she was better than all of them put together, that she was a marvelously independent, brilliant woman and had no reason to feel any less—and settled for a knowing tilt of his head, an unvoiced understanding that Vicki could choose to recognize or dismiss, and a smile.
“So.” She said, predictably dismissing his understanding. “I hear you have a goblin in your kitchen?”
Vicki was, as a general rule, unlikely to respond favorably to praises. They made her uncomfortable. And God forbid she vaguely suspected they were born out of intention to chase away her own self doubts—for then all hell would truly break loose. Henry had every intention of living for another half century and survival instincts forced everyone to learn Vicki’s rules quickly or not at all.
“Not any goblin. The goblin Coreen and I banished from the Howards’ house last night.”
“See? I can’t leave you alone for ten minutes.”
“Vicki, stay with me here. My kitchen is a mess.”
“Right. Okay. But how exactly do you know it’s that particular goblin and not just any other goblin? The ritual didn’t work?”
“I recognized its particular presence.”
“So much for not being a bloodhound.”
“I sensed it, not smelled it.” Henry said dryly. “There’s a limit to my patience, Victoria.” To be completely honest, he could recognize the humor in the situation, but Vicki’s sarcasm sometimes needed boundaries.
So much for Catholic patience, Vicki thought but decided not to risk voicing it. If Henry’s patience did indeed have a limit she didn’t want to test it. She hated the ‘Victoria’ nights. “Okay, seriously. How was the ritual exactly? If something went wrong and it followed you home, then maybe we—“
“Hello!” a voice interrupted him from the lobby. Vicki stood up quickly, her brows coming down to form a violent v over her eyes. “I brought dinner! Is Vicki inside?”
“Y-yes, but she’s—“
The door swung open. “Good evening—oh, are you with a client?”
Henry stood quickly and smoothly, the very image of the elegant gentleman, a smile naturally coming to his lips.
Marjorie Nelson was quite tall, indeed several inches more so than Henry and Vicki. Her skin was tanned, her eyes blue-green and her hair a dark blonde mane tumbling down wiry shoulders. She was athletic and thin, all her limbs implying strength. Then again, this was the woman that had raised Vicki Nelson all on her own, so Henry could not have expected anything short of a storm.
“Henry Fitzroy. Ma’am.” He said, extending his hand.
Marjorie’s eyes twinkled with amusement as she left the bags of Indian food on the desk, smiling widely. “So you’re infamous Henry?” she said, taking his hand on a firm, dry grasp. “I wish I could say I’ve heard a lot about you, but you know Vicki.”
“Yes.” He nodded, still smiling and thoroughly enjoying the moment.
“So, are you two kids working hard?” she asked, grinning at her daughter as she leaned her hip against the desk, crossing her arms. She was quite thin and lean, lanky even, Henry observed.
“I thought you had to meet with someone tonight?” Vicki asked, crossing her arms.
“I did. I did, she says hi, but one of her grandchildren called and she had to leave, so we called it an early evening. And I know how you forget to have dinner sometimes, so I thought I’d drop by, see if I can help.”
“Mom, you’re a civilian and you have no experience. How can you help me?”
“How can he?” Marjorie arched her eye brow, eyes flicking to Henry.
“That’s different!” Vicki snapped.
“Is it? I guess it is. Do you like Indian food, Henry?” she asked turning to the young man. He eats Indian girls, Vicki thought, amused, remembering a girl she had found sneaking out of his apartment once.
“Oh, I’ve already had dinner. Thank you, though.” Henry said, inclining his head politely.
Marjorie nodded, looking at her daughter rather slyly. “I ran into Michael today.” She said softly.
Vicki snorted as she let herself fall on her chair. “So? I run into him practically every day.”
Henry gave her a sharp look, his smile tightening. Vicki refrained from rolling her eyes.
“I just thought it would be nice to have dinner all together like before, when you were partners. He’s such a nice man.” Marjorie said honestly.
Vicki’s eyes brightened. Henry’s darkened. Differences aside, they were at least sharing the same emotion; irritation. Vicki shifted in the chair, suddenly very aware of Henry’s eyes fixed on her.
“He’s got his moments.” She conceded, hoping that little sentence would steer her mother away from Celucci-related matters.
No such luck.
“We could all have dinner together.” She suggested.
A muscle in Henry’s jaw jumped.
“Not really a good idea, mom. Now really, we need to work on this case so why don’t you leave us to it?”
She stood and ushered her mother towards the door.
“All of us of course included young Mr. Fitzroy.” Marjorie continued, smiling warmly at him.
Vicki noticed with mild alarm the stretching of his lips in a striking, sharp smile, his eyes bright and velvety. Gestures that seemed of simple, graceful elegance and polite agreeability manifested themselves to her, who knew him quite well, as those of a predator.
She almost thought she could see his fangs.
“I’d be delighted, Mrs. Nelson.”
Was it just her, of had Hell just reached Toronto?