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.I also wasn’t thrilled that I’d just given Jonah an update I hadn’t yet provided to Ethan.I didn’t like deception, especially not when it came to deceiving someone who’d saved my life once upon a time.I knew why I was withholding information from him, but that didn’t make it any more comfortable.The irony? I’d railed against Ethan for withholding information from me.Not that it had stopped him, but it still drove me crazy.And here I was, doing the same thing.Were my reasons any better? Had his been any worse?And although we weren’t a couple, the dishonesty felt wrong.Like a breach of the trust we’d earned, a kind of trust that went beyond Sentinel and Master.I was also missing out on using Ethan as a sounding board about Jonah and the RG.If there was any possibility he could be neutral, a second opinion would have been helpful.But as a Master, he couldn’t be neutral.So as much as I didn’t like it, there was no clear path to the truth right now.I nibbled on that conclusion for a while, working it over and over in my mind.I lost myself in my thoughts and the drive.It wasn’t that vampires were antithetical to mansions.The vampire design aesthetic was far from chains, skull candles, and black lace, and it wasn’t as if Cadogan House was a hovel.It had been elegant before the attack, and it was becoming elegant again.But Navarre House set a new standard for vampire opulence.First, it was tucked into the Gold Coast neighborhood, one of Chicago’s ritziest areas, full of Gilded Era mansions and celebrity retreats.Second, the interior was awe inspiring.Giant spaces, weird art, and the kind of furniture you saw in design magazines.(The kind of furniture you thought was neat in a museum kind of way, but wouldn’t actually want to sit on when watching a game on the flat screen on a Saturday afternoon.)Did I mention Navarre had a reception desk?Having parked the Volvo and freshened up as much as possible in the rearview mirror, I went inside and prepared to face the three dark-haired women who controlled access to Navarre and its Master.Ethan and I had dubbed them the three Fates, à la Greek myth, because they exercised a similar amount of power.They looked petite, but I had the sense that one false move—or one unauthorized step past the reception desk—and you’d be in trouble.Today they mostly seemed overwhelmed.The House’s lobby was swamped with people.None fit into obvious categories—no reporters, no vampires, no one who seemed like a member of McKetrick’s crew doing a little in-House surveying.Most wore standard black suits, more of the accountant variety than the Cadogan House variety, and they carried notepads or nondescript black bags.I maneuvered through them to the reception desk and waited until I got the attention of the Fate on the left.After a moment, she looked up at me, obviously frazzled, her fingers flying across the keys even as she made eye contact.“Yes?” she asked.“Merit, Sentinel, Cadogan, here to see Morgan if he’s available?”She blew out a breath, finally glanced down at her screen, and continued her marathon typing.A man bumped beside me at the desk and looked down at her.“I had an appointment fifteen minutes ago.”“Nadia is working as quickly as possible, sir.She’ll be with you shortly.” She pointed a long-fingered nail at the benches behind the desk.“Have a seat.”The man clearly didn’t like her answer, but he bit his tongue and squeezed back through.I leaned forward a bit.“What’s going on in here today? I thought Tate wasn’t allowing humans in the Houses?”She rolled her eyes.“He’s offered an exception to that rule.We’re in the process of selecting our vendors for the next calendar year.The mayor suggested Nadia talk with representatives of the human businesses in town to get their bids.”Nadia was the Navarre Second, Morgan’s vice president.She was also supermodel gorgeous, which was a shocking thing to learn the first time you walked into your ex-boyfriend’s abode.The Fate cast an unhappy glance out across the crowd.“I seriously doubt they can meet our needs.”I’d assumed we had a cleaning crew and a grounds staff, and I knew one of the House chefs.But it hadn’t occurred to me that vampires needed vendors [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]