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Nickolas

I stood at the window, watching as the sun crested the horizon. Beams of light seeped through the tall buildings of downtown, bathing the city in a golden glow of dawn. My strength was returning slower than I had expected it to, and left me feeling uncertain with my ability to handle the task the Grand Sire had set me.

Was the new prince out there in the city, still among the humans? Had he been turned already? A sense of urgency plagued me, and I had a sinking feeling we were running out of time. I needed the boy, Seth, to lead me to my new brother but his situation seemed just as precarious as my own.

"Nickolas," Samera called, interrupting my thoughts. I turned to her as she stepped out of the kitchen with her black 'cell phone' in hand.

"They're on their way up," she said.

Nodding, I returned to gaze at the city. Seth contacted Samera asking for new information about his kidnapped brother or Michaela on a daily, if not almost hourly, basis. Seth was so focused on his brother that without him, the boy would be useless for my needs.

Before I could even attempt to find his brother, I needed to gather my support, my circle of followers. Of my children, I have Sin, who I trusted the most. In time, I would have him contact the others. I had my Servant, Samera. Without her, I would be at a lost in this new era. I still needed a caster of significant power, but that would be taken care of shortly, if matters go as planned. That left two Retainers, who were usually ceremonial guards, but for this uncertain time and with the Court as unstable as it was, they would need to be people of power.

A chime rang above and I heard Samera move to open the door to our rooms. Our 'apartment' as she called it.

I turned to see two men following her as she returned to the main room. One was younger, around Seth's age in his late teens; maybe though, a little younger than the holder of Orion's Blade. He was dressed in dark clothes and his hair had the most interesting shading of red in it. It was so bright, I knew it couldn't possibly be natural. I wondered how he'd done it.

The other man was exactly who I thought it might be. From Sin's message talking about Avians and to expect a 'Jay' with the Hewiet, it wasn't hard to reason it may be the original Avian turning up at my doorstep. He'd managed well with the changes over time it seemed. His hair was cut much shorter than the last time I'd seen him a few centuries ago, but his hazel eyes were just as quick and full of mischief.

Jay smiled and gave an exaggerated bow. "Prince Nickolas."

He'd always been more of a gossip and party goer than a serious member back when he attended our Court centuries ago. Back before the Avians withdrew from the supernatural society.

"Lord Jayger," I said formally, addressing him by his full name. "I did not realize you were still fluttering around."

He laughed. "I've got to pass the time somehow. And please, I'm no longer a Lord nor do I go such an old fashioned name. Please, 'Jay' is fine, your Highness."

I nodded and turned to the young man, the Hewiet.

"And this lanky kid here is my charge," Jay said. "Remington Hewiet. Direct descendant of Coyle Hewiet, your previous Caster, if I'm not mistaken."

Remington bowed. "Your Highness," he said.

"Don't worry about him," Jay laughed, patting Remington on the back. "He's just jet lagged. Not used to flying yet."

"If I was meant to fly, I'd have my own wings," Remington interrupted Jay tartly, giving him a look that clearly said they'd had this conversation before. Jay shrugged.

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