A few months passed and tensions settled. Nikolai tried his best to maintain the farce of command over the Circle but insisted that the masquerade of being their leader ended when Circle business concluded. Svetlana was happier for the weekly visits that allowed her to indulge in her love of pain, and Nikolai accepted it as graciously as he could. He had been indulging as well, Bezer had become increasingly affectionate and spent large parts of her day at his side, regularly offering her throat when he tried to leave to feed.
Azazel and Bezer made frequent trips to another Circle. Sometimes together and often separately. Nikolai tried to understand their obsession for the demons there, demons they referred to as Watchers, but he had never met them and kept his thoughts to himself each time one or both of the demons said they were off to see Eidolon.
Azazel had been to see the demon in Tsumi the day before and had been grinning since. Nikolai still could not understand why Azazel and Svetlana enjoyed pain. While most others go out of their way to avoid it, the two of them seemed to seek it out as if gasping for air. He found it disturbing but no one could deny that the two of them were happiest after someone indulged them.
Bezer was sitting on the floor beside Nikolai as he checked through the stack of mail she had brought in with her. She occasionally leaned against his leg until he would pet through her hair and satisfy her need for attention.
“I think I might go see Lord Eidolon.” Bezer stretched as she stood and leaned over to hug Nikolai before she left.
“Would you mind terribly taking me along?” Nikolai pushed his work aside and smiled at her confusion.
“Why?” Bezer said finally when he provided no reason for the request on his own. Nikolai knew that her visits generally ended up being of an intimate nature and could not imagine what made him ask to join her.
“I just want to meet him.” Nikolai explained. “I can entertain myself elsewhere while you have your date. I’m just curious about the one who seems to keep you away so often.”
“I guess it’s okay.” Bezer agreed reluctantly. She didn’t want to disappoint Nikolai but wasn’t entirely certain how Eidolon was going to feel about the company. She took Nikolai’s hand as he stood and they arrived in the courtyard in front of the Circle building in Tsumi. “Please, remember to use his title. He might not be as insistent on it as Lucifer, but he…”
“I wont embarrass you, Bezer.” Nikolai squeezed her hand and she looked at him nervously.
“Maybe I should have checked with him first.” Bezer sighed.
“Checked with who, cutie?” The familiar voice behind her made Bezer’s tail twitch angrily. And Kurayami laughed at her reaction. “And who is the stiff?”
“Go away!” Bezer hissed at the vampire as she turned to glare at him.
“This is my Circle, Fuzzy.” Kurayami stepped in front of her confidently. “Just because Eidolon and you have a thing, doesn’t mean you have any say here. Now, you want to introduce me to your friend? Or should I just kill the fuck for trespassing?”
“Nikolai, this over confident ass is Kurayami.” Bezer smirked. “Feel free to ignore his idle threats as he has about as much authority here as I do.”
“Watch it, bitch.” Kurayami moved to shove her but Nikolai stepped in between them. Kurayami laughed. “How cute, baby bat here is your body guard.”
“I think that is quite enough, Kurayami.” Eidolon had noticed Bezer’s arrival in Tsumi and came to greet her. He was surprised that she had not come alone. He offered his hand to the young vampire that had been kind enough to come to her defense. “You must be Nikolai.”
“I am,” Nikolai took the demons hand cautiously. He was imposing but seemed to radiate warmth. Everything about him was perfect. He could see at least outwardly, why Bezer was so infatuated. “I presume, you are Lord Eidolon.”
“I have that burden.” Eidolon smiled before he turned to the vampire beside him that rolled his eyes at the greeting. “And this is my impossible colleague, Kurayami Mist.”
“Mist?” Nikolai asked. He remembered reading the name a thousand times. It seemed impossible that he could be the same Mist.
“What of it?” Kurayami stared at him.
“He isn’t worth talking to, Nikolai.” Bezer insisted. She would have continued to insult the vampire but a simple look from Eidolon changed her mind. “Sorry to bring him by so suddenly, Lord Eidolon.”
“It is no problem.” Eidolon smiled at the both of them and offered his arm to Bezer. “Join us for lunch, Nikolai.”
“I don’t want to impose.” Nikolai tried to politely refuse the offer, he knew Bezer had come for other reasons and he felt as if he was interrupting. “I don’t really eat anyway.”
“You wont be imposing.” Eidolon laughed. “I rarely eat. She is fun to watch though.”
“Oh, for the love of fuck. You are all so damn boring.” Kurayami exclaimed before he started to walk away. “Later, Eidolon.”
“Kurayami.” Nikolai turned a moment to call for the vampire.
“What?” Kurayami turned to answer sneering back at Nikolai as he did.
“I may need a distraction later,” Nikolai hoped there was at least some decency in the vampire. “Could you spare the time?”
“I’ll be in my office, baby bat.” Kurayami laughed and walked off. He was a bit curious how Golod’s vampire knew the name Mist. It could be worth an afternoon to find out.
“Come on, Nikolai.” Bezer insisted he hurry things along. “I want sushi!”
“Isn’t that raw?” Nikolai asked as Bezer took his hand. She dragged him along beside her still holding tight to Eidolon’s arm.
“I don’t see you cooking many of your meals.” Bezer giggled.
“She has a point, young Nikolai.” Eidolon laughed.
“I suppose she does.” Nikolai joined the laughter nervously, feeling terribly out of place as he walked with them. The short walk ended at a small outdoor café of sorts where Bezer pulled her chair close to Eidolon and let Nikolai sit across from them.
“Why do you want to talk to Kurayami?” Bezer asked as she looked over her choices on the colorful menu. “He is such an idiot.”
“No reason,” Nikolai was not fond of lying, but he wasn’t even sure he was the same Mist. He did not want to ruin her fun by delving into his past either. “I have not had very many dealings with other vampires. I thought it would be a good way to kill time.”
“There are far better ways to kill time than an afternoon with Kurayami.” Eternity giggled as she fluttered from Eidolons pocket and landed on the table. Nikolai stared at the tiny girl in shock. He had never seen anything like it. Eternity laughed as she walked closer and waved up at him. “Hello.”
“My companion, Eternity.” Eidolon explained as he noticed Nikolai staring. “She can join you when you go to see Kurayami. It would probably be best to not see him alone, and she can call for me if there are problems.”
“My pleasure.” Eternity bowed her head to Eidolon before she turned back to the lovely vampire. She would prefer not to hang about alone while Eidolon had his time with Bezer anyway. “If it is okay with you, of course.”
“I would be honored.” Nikolai said finally. “I apologize for staring. I was not aware fairies existed and you are very beautiful.”
“Thank you.” Eternity blushed. She walked close to his hand with the intent to walk onto it but he slid it away nervously. Her laughter was interrupted by Bezer squealing happily at the arrival of her food. Eternity took advantage of the distraction and flew over to sit on Nikolai’s fingers. When he noticed he lifted his hand slowly to get a closer look at her. “If we are going to be friends, you need to be less nervous.”
“She is not as fragile as she seems, Nikolai.” Eidolon explained watching the vampire’s reactions closely.
“I suppose I am being rude.” Nikolai sighed. “I don’t mean to be.”
“It’s quite alright.” Eternity smiled at him.
“I can see why the cubs are so fond of you.” Eidolon laughed. “Neither of them can seem to stop talking about their Nikolai.”
“I’m flattered.” Nikolai answered quietly, “Though I am not sure I deserve their admiration. They are far more impressive than I ever will be.”
“Try some.” Bezer stabbed a piece of her food and offered it to Eidolon. She frowned when he refused her offer and ate it herself. “You never eat.”
“Enough, Bezer.” Eidolon scolded and she blushed as she turned her gaze to the table. He laid a hand on her head to comfort her and continued his conversation with the vampire. “It’s impressive enough that you’ve won the affections of this one, but you seem to have won over her brother as well. You are far too modest.”
“You are nothing like I expected, Lord Eidolon.” Nikolai had expected the likes of Lucifer. Charming but cruel. Instead the demon that sat across from him was well mannered and kind. Nikolai admired his subtlety. His commanding presence was frightening, but the way he moved and spoke had put Nikolai at ease.
“You may have mistaken me for the twins other friend in Tsumi.” Eidolon laughed. “I assure you I am the lesser of two evils.”
“I meant no offense.” Nikolai stammered nervously and the fairy on his fingertips giggled. “It’s not that. I wouldn’t have asked to meet him. I just… I don’t know what I thought.”
“Relax, vampire.” Eternity insisted and fluttered to his shoulder. “If you had offended him, you would know it.”
“As she says.” Eidolon explained a bit more kindly. “I was not offended. And please, Eidolon is fine. Unless you prefer me to saddle you with a title as well.”
“No.” Nikolai sighed. “Thank you. I dislike the titles entirely.”
“So you were the other vampire that gave him all the trouble?” Eidolon laughed when he realized who he was sharing a table with. He recalled Lucifer telling him all about the other vampire he had to threaten into submission after they forced Kurayami to his knees. “I am impressed. So young, but willing to stand up to Lucifer.”
“It was stupid.” Bezer giggled. “But sort of sweet.”
“I don’t find it stupid at all.” Eidolon smiled. “It was ridiculous of Our Lord Lucifer to expect every vampire he deemed worthy to serve to just drop to their knee and swear fealty.”
“Only two resisted?” Nikolai was in awe of the casual way he spoke of Lucifer and feared the arrival he thought inevitable. “In all the world, two?”
“The other was, Kurayami.” Eidolon nodded. He could see the vampire had become uncomfortable at the mention of Lucifer. He liked this young vampire.
“That idiot stood up to Lord Lucifer?” Bezer asked before taking another bite. “He strikes me as a bit of a coward.”
“Self-preserving maybe.” Eidolon explained. “Complicated, arrogant, and most definitely more of a headache than I would like. But Kurayami isn’t a coward.”
“He’s still an idiot.” Bezer added. Eternity nodded at her from Nikolai’s shoulder. “See, she agrees.”
“Both of you, behave.” Eidolon insisted. “I should warn you, Nikolai. Kurayami is also quick tempered. If you do go to see him, keep that in mind.”
“I will keep things peaceful.” Eternity assured him. “If he knows I’m there, he wont do anything.”
When Bezer finished eating she clung to Eidolon and Nikolai tried to ignore the sudden jealousy that crept up in him when he saw the way she smiled up at the Watcher.
“I should excuse myself.” Nikolai stood slowly and offered his hand across the table to Eidolon. “It has been a pleasure.”
“It has. One I hope to enjoy again.” Eidolon told him. “I would like to speak with you more.”
“Gladly.” Nikolai smiled and bowed his head slightly to excuse himself.
“Wait for me there, Eternity.” Eidolon added as he watched Nikolai take his leave and turned his attention to Bezer.