Prologue: Drury Lane, Scene II (Michael)

But Royston Montjoy, it seemed, had no interest in returning to trouble Michael or Ilkin. He had been a shadow in the darkness, a nightmare given flesh and malice. He would fight a pair of unarmed mortals, to provoke Michael into shredding the Masquerade before Theo. But to fight straight on, against those both able and eager to defend themselves against him? That was not Monty's way. He was perhaps a truer predator than Michael, picking off only the weak and defenseless.

Up above, so close to the costume department, finding clothing for Michael would not prove to be a difficulty. Theo sat splay-legged on the floor not far from the trapdoor, breathing in and out, trying to recover some semblance of his wits. He was looking better than he had before, that much was certain. His color was better, and his breathing was steadier, and it wouldn't be long before Theo started asking inconvenient questions once again.

"Oh, I intend to repress this whole day, so I'll be mentioning nothing," Michael answered, smiling at his own joke. In truth, he wouldn't forget it at all - it would serve as a reminder for him to be more prepared, more cautious. And it would definately be an incentive to learn how to get rid of humans. Theo could easily have been killed, and that was burden Michael didn't ever want to carry.

Grasping the rope, Michael heaved himself up it, quickly making his way to the top. Sometimes he was glad to be a werewolf - he wasn't at all out of breath as he pulled himself over the top, as though he'd climbed a set of stairs with a gentle slope. He didn't bother trying to hide the fur from Theo. He'd seen enough - if the Lunacy didn't make him forget, nothing would. Michael had resgined himself to the fact that he had a human to look after; he'd make sure Theo was safe from the supernatural, would impress upon him the need for absolute secrecy. And he still hadn't thought of a way to make it up to him. Turning to Clements, he asked politely, "Would you mind...?", indicating his lack of clothing again. "I'll stay with Mr. Alexander, make sure he is okay."

"Of course, Sir Wolf," Jack smiled, "I can sympathize with your plight all too well."

He returned a moment later with clothing that was slightly on the large side and wouldn't look too ridiculous in public. "Once this is said and done, you and I really ought to have a chat," he said, smiling sympathetically, then gave Theo another significant glance. "Some things cannot be discussed around just anyone, as I'm sure you know. I'll be happy to be frank with you, but not here."

Michael smiled as Clements called him "Sir Wolf" - and he couldn't help but wonder what kind of supernatural creature Clements was. Michael felt certain that he'd know if Clements was a werewolf, or one of The Host. But Clements didn't appear to be either, nor was he spirit or ghost, and that was all that Michael knew how to identify for certain. So he was a mystery - meaning that he couldn't be trusted yet.

When he returned, Michael accepted the clothing with a murmured "thanks", pulling it on without looking at it. Coming from a costume department, it was probably awful, and the sooner he got home, the better. At least he wasn't standing around in fur underwear anymore - that was a plus. After Jack spoken, Michael asked, "Who's Frank?" Then, after waiting a moment for the joke to hit, he nodded. "I'd appreciate that, Mr. Clements. This... well, its all a little new to me, you might have noticed," he said, smiling self-depreciatingly.

You may progress to Drury Lane; Scene 3


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