Well chronologically there are a few more stories between this one and the last one involving Nigel. But I just couldn’t help it but write this now!
Well bloody shit. What had he just promised? Another one who would know him for who he really was. Somehow that didn’t seem to matter so much anymore though… Maybe he was getting old. And tired. Definitely tired. All this social interaction crap was really getting on his nerves.
Nigel Willoby had used the pseudonym Vainary for since he could remember. More people knew Vainary than they knew Nigel. Since he hadn’t really kept in touch with any of his classmates – with that one exception – the only people actually calling him Nigel used to be his mother and that one exception. Audrye had actually laughed when she had found out about him having name on the webs. And who was she to laugh, really? She had been known as Flowrgirl777 on the kitten forum back in the day.
Vainary had been a good name. A pun on word, as he liked to imagine it. The ultimate code, binary, just spelled in very bad Japanese translated in romanji. Although he had kept the “y” at the end. Well, he had been, what?, 9 years old at the time, what would one expect? And you didn’t have backsies with internet names or you had to start all over.
Anyways, now the Knights had his personal phone number and Audrye had actually managed to infect one of them with nicknames! He hated nicknames. He tolerated them from her. But he wouldn’t tolerate it from some newbie Knight who couldn’t google without assistance. Bloody Knights!
They were nothing but trouble, but he had no way out now. He was in way too deep. Audrye had better chance of getting out than he did. Hell, she was a Knight, a bloody life-saver protecting the Innocent and fighting the bad guys. Still she could just quit, she wouldn’t even need anything as dramatic as the blueblood who went AWOL. But he couldn’t. Although he snorted at the idea, he was too important as a grigor to be let go of.
The little game with captain Ernsthart had been fun. First, she had owed him, big time. He asked a few favors of her and she complied. He had needed her help, she had given it. Then she could be asking favors. And so forth… She had been the perfect soldier-for-hire, didn’t ask too many questions and got the job done. And if she needed some detailed work in for example finding her targets, she could always call him. And he had always respected her work ethics. She was a true white knight as far as he was concerned, and she did it even without any organisation backing her up.
Of course, Emma Ernsthart had always been curious of the man behind the letter “V”. She wasn’t stupid, she knew he had to be well connected and even better equipped. And still she never wanted to meet him to gain more leverage or power, she just wanted to see him, one time. It had been a fun game, like cat and mouse. But the game was over.
He had known the risks when he had to send Emma after the AWOL Knight. One of the very few Knights who knew who he really was and how to find him. And the one woman who really wanted to find him. Nigel had thought that with a name like Weston-Pryce the bloke would have had enough cash to buy Emma off his scent, but apparently no one else was that interested in keeping his pseudonym just that: a pseudonym. Well, he had given in quite easily. It was because he was tired. Fed up with running away.
He had sent her the address. And now he just waited for the doorbell to ring. The robot was handling the computers, Audrye was off at work.
A knock on door.
She was oldfashioned… Shaking his head he pushed himself upright from the chair and slouched to the door. One last deep breath. He jerked the door open.
On the doorway stood a lean tall woman around 30 years of age. She combed her rather unkempt sandy blond hair behind her ear while her keen hazel eyes were locked on the man who opened the door.
The man was unkempt throughout. Although Audrye had improved his wardrobe, she still couldn’t keep them unwrinkled for long. Protestingly he had shoved his hands deep into the pockets of his loose jeans, glaring at the woman with his icy blue eyes. He could have been very good-looking, if only he had brushed his black hair and had a more amiable expression.
“Vainary, I presume?”
“How long did it take you to decide on that opening?”
“I actually went with my gut here”, she said, grinning lopsidedly.
“I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. I’m Emma Ernsthart and it’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”
He sighed. This was it.
“Nigel Willoby. Come on in.”