InfightingWell, what are we supposed to do? Bryan sneered, Kill Maximilian?
Eric leaned his forehead against the cool glass, his breath steaming up the surface until little beads of condensation trickled down onto the sill. And in the fog he wrote the initials M and A, a smile tugging at his lips as he considered both those letters side by side.
We dont need to do anything, he chuckled, Neither you nor I could challenge Maximilian Vasile in a fight. Nor you Guy, although your smile says otherwise.
Guy grinned from his place upon Erics sofa, his long legs stretched before him, slouching nonchalantly. He waved his hands in the air, You dont think much at all of me. Id wager I could do better than either of you.
Id last longer in a fight than you, Bryan replied hotly, glaring at his companion.
Youd last ten seconds, and only because hed feel sorry for you, came the cheeky re
Coeur de Lion 1962
It would not be the last time one of Jans children would be used to settle someone elses quarrel.
But before anyone should assume that Vasiles were born and bred to be manipulated, it would be best to understand why the quarrels occurred in the first place. In the mortal world, Richard Beveridge worked the night shift at the Royal London Hospital, entirely unremarkable, he kept to himself. In the other world he was something of a leader, playing the role of a supposedly unbiased judiciary, but entirely ambitious, forward thinking and strangely modern.
He was an oddity but then the rest of his brethren were stuck in a different time, perhaps in denial about the world they now lived in. They were still fighting over territory, and claiming that the mortal lot were little more than fodder for their ferocious appetites. Richard on the other hand worked with normal people every single day of his life and he was unable to underestimate them like the rest unfortunate
ChildishJan had used his baby photographs against him for the last time.
It was a tried and tested method of keeping his sons in line, and one that worked extraordinarily well for there was no better way of ruining the general respect for a person than making them appear a fool or childlike. Max had understood the potential damage such photographs could do and kept his under lock and key, away from Jans prying fingertips. Dmitri had not been so lucky; he was his fathers favourite, and as such the old man kept a firm grip on those old mementos from the days when his little boy had been happy and mortal.
Even after moving house several times, Jan had kept a lot of things from their past, including a dog stuffed toy which both boys had battered near to bits, Maximilians first pair of shoes, a blanket that enveloped the newborn Dmitri which the child later used as a comforter and a few drawings. It was one of the few sentimental gestures Jan made, saving so many little things. Ne
One of Us_PrologueSeptember, 1954
I do not often turn down a cigar.
It is one of those out of the ordinary treats that I allow myself now and again, when I am either feeling quite downtrodden and urgently require something more than the standard tobacco, or when it is a very important occasion. Christmas, for example. I always enjoy a cigar after an outstanding festive feast, when the turkey and black pudding are uncomfortably pressing in my stomach. He and I would sit in our respective and preferred armchairs and light each others with a sated, exhausted sigh, and I would pour with relish my favourite festive tipple.
So I would not often knock back a rather generous offer of hand-wrapped Cubans in exchange for an evening of office politics. Bradbury had invited me, you see. He is getting extraordinarily anxious in his old age, as I have noted before in previous journal entries. Bradbury has not been quite the same individual since someone claimed he was not one of us, and though he d