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RecordKeeper    27

Sophia paced back and forth, she was fuming. First the emails and now this... What the hell did he think he was playing at? She slammed down her cup of coffee. Damn him, sharing stuff like that over Twitter, even if she had known about it that was hardly the place to be sharing that kind of thing. TMITuesday be damned.

She looked at the conversation again. It made her blood boil. Not the idea of Kyle with a man, she could deal with that, hell she'd experimented while she'd been at univesity. But the idea that he hadn't even told her but shared it with the whole world instead. He shouldn't be keeping things from the woman he was supposed to be marrying. The woman he had a child with. But recently she was learning that Kyle was hiding a lot of secrets.

She knew she needed to keep him close to monitor him and playing the dutiful fiancé was the easiest way but she was reaching her breaking point. She was beginning to wonder if the Kyle she had known ever really existed...

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Kle    122

Kyle thought back to his relationship with James and smiled. It was more than just an evening. The two of them had shared a long relationship together. Good and bad. Oh there was the animal side of it but there had been a loving side of it too. Kyle smiled as he remembered one morning waking up to find the whole bedroom covered in rose petals and a breakfast tray waiting for him. James had just smiled when Kyle had asked what it was all for. “Can’t I just be romantic?” James had replied with a cheeky smile.

But like most things in Kyle’s life the love came to an abrupt end. This was a while back, and he was 21 but was still in local care. When they discovered that he was staying at young gay mans house they quickly put a stop to it. They didn’t want the risk of the local government being seen to encourage homosexual behaviour. They did have a similar policy for hetrosexuals but it was rarely enforced unless there were complaints. But in Kyle’s case they enforced the rule strictly. They threatened to contact James’s employer and tell them what was going on. James offered to let Kyle move in but Kyle was too worried about how it would affect James. There had been a huge argument about that. James didn’t care about his job, he wanted to be with Kyle but Kyle had insisted. He loved James and didn’t want to ruin his life. In the end Kyle left. No note, no contact he just left. It had broken his heart but it had been the only way. He had never forgot James. But between James and Sophia there hadn’t been anyone else. He’d considered getting back in touch with James but the idea that James may have moved on kept Kyle from making the call. He wanted to preserve the memories as they were. One of the very good things in his life.

His feelings for Sophia were complex. He had loved her. But he had never felt the same way he had with James. The love was... different. He couldn't explain it. Not wrong, it had never felt wrong. But it never compared to what he had with James. In a way she was always in James's shadow even if he hadn't been aware of it at the time.

It was one of the reasons that the current situation was so easy for him. If James had been involved he would never have been able to just switch off his feelings. The idea of manipulating James the way he was with Sophia made him baulk. He hadn’t been manipulating her all along. His feelings for her had been genuine to start. But since the Sato incident she was little more than part of a bigger picture.

Now he had a dilemma. He could be true to himself and risk losing a valuable resource or he could continue lying and keep Sophia on side. Either way something was going to break.

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RecordKeeper    27

Sophia stood up as Kyle entered the room. She walked straight over to him and slapped him.

“What the hell did you think you were doing?” She demanded. Kyle rubbed his face.

“I was answering a question Sophia.” He replied “Where’s Felicia?”

“She’s downstairs. One of my friends is looking after her.” She replied simply.

“That’s good.” he replied. They sat there in awkward silence.

“Why didn't you tell me?” She asked

“It never came up.” Kyle said honestly “I haven't thought about James in years” Oh God. Sophia thought, he had a name.

“James?” She asked trying not to sound angry. Kyle simply nodded. “I know I'm going to regret this but tell me about him. Not the 140 characters or less version please. The whole thing. I deserve that much” Kyle sighed. It was difficult to know where to begin.

“I met him when I was 19. I was in a hostel at the time. He was about six months younger than me. But he was so mature. He had a job, his own place, he was independant. We were talking in a bar one evening and he was amazed to discover that I was living in a hostel.” Sophia looked at him.

“Wait your files show you were in care”

“After a certain age if they can’t get you paired with a family they move you to “supported accommodation”. To the public it’s a hostel but as far as the records show it’s care. It means they don’t look so bad.” Sophia shrugged

“Makes sense. Government hates to look bad”

“Well he saw something in me that nobody else had. No foster family or career. He asked if we could meet up again. I have to admit I was confused. Nobody had ever shown an interest in me before. I even asked him why. Do you know what he told me?” Sophia looked blankly at him “He said “You’re an interesting man Kyle. You’ve seen a lot. More than anyone should at our age. Lots of people would have lost their spark long ago but you… It’s just made you stronger.”” We met up a few times after that. Coffee, movies, drinks that kind of thing. But it was never anything sexual. Just friends. The more we met the more we seemed to connect though. Then after one meeting I realised that I had feelings for this man.”

Sophia sighed. She wanted to hate this man but from what Kyle was telling her it wasn’t easy. He seemed so nice.

“The next meeting we had was at a bar, I felt comfortable talking to James so I decided to try to tell him the situation. Of course I made a mess of it. Like a kid at school I did the whole I’ve got a friend who likes this other friend thing. He smiled at me when I started telling him. He could see how scared I was. He just reached over and held my hand and said, “It’s ok Kyle. I like you too.” I was so relived. That night I went back to his house for the first time and we sat there just talking and drinking wine. I fell asleep on his chest. When I woke up he was still there.” Kyle’s face was glowing at the memories. Sophia was feeling conflicted.

“You really loved this man didn’t you?” She said. Kyle thought for a second before replying.

“Yes. With everything I had” Sophia felt her heart sink.

“So what happened?” She asked.

“The hostel found out. They had a policy about relationships. They don’t encourage them. It wasn’t usually enforced but because it was a homosexual relationship they threw the book at this one. They even threatened to contact James's employer and tell them what was happening. We argued about what to do. He wanted me to move in. I didn’t want him ruining his life because of me. In the end I left him. It broke my heart but it was the only thing I could do.” Sophia was shocked
“You left him?” She said in disbelief

“I’d already bought enough trouble into his life. I didn’t want to add more. It was the only choice that made sense”

“That’s your problem Kyle. You do things and don’t think about the long term effects. What if he wanted you in his life? He was as much part of that choice as you.” God why was she arguing this?

“Don’t you think I’ve wondered about that?” Kyle said “Gone through all the possibilities?”

“No. You never do.” Sophia snapped. “So what was I some kind of convenient stop along the way?”

“Sophia I did love you.” Kyle began

“Did?” She demanded

“It’s hard to explain. There wasn’t anyone else between you and James. I loved you. I felt something. Obviously. But…”

“But it wasn't what you and James had was it?” Sophia said quietly.

“No. I’m sorry Sophia. Our love was different. It was love though. Please don’t think I never loved you.” Sophia looked at him. Kyle had changed a lot recently. From caring man, to cold calculating bastard but even though she knew he was using her for her connections she knew this was not part of the plan. The look on his face was enough to tell her that.

“So where do we go from here Kyle?” She asked calmly

“I… I don’t know.” He said

“Have you ever got back in touch with him?” She asked

“No. I want to remember him as he was.”

“You make him sound like he’s dead” Kyle said nothing. “Look. I admit I wanted to tear you a new one. And I’m still kind of pissed about the way you chose to share all this but if some good doesn’t come out of this then it’s been a waste.” She said

“What about Felicia?” He asked
“What about her?” Sophia asked “Wait did you think I was going to stop you from seeing her again?” Kyle remained silent. “I’ll only do that if you present a danger to her. Right now you are more of a danger to yourself. Go and find him. Get closure. It’s the very least you need.” She said

“And us?” He asked

“Well we are friends who have a baby. A fun and complex story to tell at dinner parties but hardly a unique one” She smiled. “I’m not a monster Kyle. I want you to be happy. Maybe then you can stop this stupid charade against Sanctuary” Kyle looked at her surprised “I’m not stupid. I know that something is going on even if I can’t pinpoint it yet. You should be putting your efforts into reuniting with your long lost love not whatever underhanded schemes it is you are planning”

“I think I realise why I loved you.” Kyle said

“Oh?” Sophia said

“You remind me a lot of James. He used to be reasonable and he would talk me down when I was about to do something stupid”
“Ha. I’m surprised he had time for a job then” She smiled. “Now go, before I change my mind” Kyle stood up and went to leave. Before he opened the door he turned to her and said

“I’m sorry Sophia. I never meant to hurt you.”

“I know” She said as he left.

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RecordKeeper    27

Sophia sighed. She wanted to hate Kyle. She wanted to hate James too but the story was all too common. Care homes run by the council avoided looking like they were "endorsing" homosexual activities. If only they had left him to his own devices Kyle might be a very different man. He might be more content. Stupid bureaucracy.

But she wanted to know more about James. This was the first time she'd heard about him. How has he managed to stay off the radar for so long? She sat at the computer. Finding him wouldn't be as easy as typing in James. And Kyle was unlikely to give her his surname if he suspected her of interfering. Where to start? She thumbed through the Sanctuary files for Kyke. Nothing of note that she didn't already know. She turned to the Templar records that she had a copy of. Again nothing of note. It all concerned his parents and the gang. She sat and pondered for a while. Ok some good old fashioned hacking it was then. Kyle had mentioned a hostel? Even if they hadn't kept digital records at the time the local council would have. All she needed was a surname. She switched to her personal laptop for this. She wasn't worried about getting caught but it was better to be safe.

After a little bit of digging she found a document that had been scanned. An incident report from the hostel. It was about Kyle and his relationship. She read it and was appalled at the content.

"It has come to our attention that K Hudson has been spending his time off the premises with a young man. This cannot be allowed to continue as it may cause a backlash against not only this agency but also the Social Services if they are seen to be encouraging deviant behaviour"

What the hell? Deviant behaviour. She had half a mind to find the author of the report and show them real deviant behaviour.

"We have contacted James Hemsworth and informed him that if the relationship is not finished we will have to take further measures. Including but not limited to contacting his employer (currently a well known telecommunications firm)"

That's low. But it was just what she needed. She had a name, she knew his approximate age and better she had a place of employment. With information like that she could easily track him down. But first she wanted to leave them an incident report of her own. She opened a new file and wrote

"Due to recent changes in our operating procedure we have reviewed all archived incident reports. This case has been flagged as being one where the individual's welfare was not put first and may have caused long term repercussions. A full investigation will begin shortly please ensure that the relevant information is made available to us."

As tempting as it was to flag the file to Social Service she chose to just forward it to the management of the Hostel instead. Knowing the way most of those places operate they would keep a low profile and when they didn’t hear anything they would figure the worst had passed.

She quickly ran a search on James. Thankfully he wasn’t to difficult to find. The name was common but the details associated with him weren’t. Once she was certain she had the right person she decided to call him. She didn’t have time to wait for an email that he might just ignore.

The phone rang… A man's voice answered.

“Hello?” He said. Cautious but politely.

“Hi, I’m Sophia Rose. Is this James Hemsworth?” She asked.
“It is.” James replied cautiously “I’m afraid I don’t know any Sophia’s though.”

“No you don’t but I know someone you used to know. I need to talk to you about him.” She said. It wasn’t the strongest line but she hoped it was enough to grab his interest.

“I know a lot of people Sophia, you’ll have to narrow down the field a little.” He laughed. He had a deep rich laugh. It caught her off guard.

“Well it’s kind of embarrassing if I’m honest.” She stumbled.

“Sophia I’m a Doctor. I deal with embarrassing on a daily basis. You would be amazed at how immune I have become to embarrassment.” This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go. She was supposed to be in charge here.

“Kyle.” She blurted out. She heard James gasp. “I need to talk to you about Kyle.”

“Is he OK?” James asked protectively. Even now all these years it was clear he still felt for Kyle.

“That’s why I need to talk to you” She said quickly. “Can you meet me?” She heard him tapping at a computer.

“When were you thinking of?”

“Do you have any appointments today?” She asked

“Do you know how difficult it is to see a GP at short notice?” James laughed

“Can you meet me in an hour?”

“Are you outside my house Sophia?” James laughed again. “This is about Kyle Hudson? I want to be sure of this.”


“Very well. There’s a cafe down from my practice. The Cafe Mocha. It’s not the best but it’s quiet and it’s not a chain store. Meet me there.”

“Thank you” Sophia said. “I appreciate this”

“I’m intrigued though. What has Kyle got himself into this time?” James chuckled.

“I’ll explain when we meet. A lot has happened.”

“Very well. Until then Sophia.” And with that James hung up the phone. Oddly Sophia was left with the feeling that she’d been played. Like he had got the upperhand. It was unnerving. She needed to meet this mystery man and see what all the fuss was about.

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Auroris    160

Auroris sat hunched and shaking in the middle of his bed. The girls were in bed, asleep. Visions of the vast darkness of the internet flashed through his mind, fleeting but endless. He let out a soft moan, unable to make the horrors stop, unable to stop shaking.

He thought about vanishing into the shadow, just finding somewhere else to go and be for a while. Away from everything. But the moment he contemplated leaving, he realised he would have to travel into the void of shadows. Into the emptiness. He flung himself back on his bed, hugging the covers to him, sobbing quietly. He could not go there. What if he could not get out. He might be stuck there forever, undying, and inescapable.

This would not do. He could not spend forever just hunched up here. He knew what he needed. Something to focus his attentions on. Something to distract him from the emptiness. He knew straight away, exactly what he needed. Something to focus on, and someway to prepare, for if he could not remaster himself.

We need to talk.
Come find me in Rome.

Sorry for not posting for a while, people. I just keep being too busy to craft a post to my usual levels of quality. I take this ciriously, so if I don't have the time in a day to give a post the thought and attention it deserves, then I won't write it. I've been working on this notion for a couple of days though, so hopefully it lives up to my usual awesomeness.

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RecordKeeper    27

Sophia looked at the message. In some ways it was very like Auroris. Short and to the point. But it was also unusually vague. She was intrigued, but she had things to take care of and he could wait. He wasn’t dying and GP’s were notoriously difficult to get hold of.


She wandered into the coffee shop where she was supposed to meet James. She looked around. It was surprisingly busy. She couldn’t see him at first glance but went up to counter anyway and ordered a coffee. A tall handsome man approached her while she was waiting for her drink.

“Sophia?” He said

“James?” She asked “How did you recognise me?. I mean I’ve seen your passport picture so I knew who I was looking for” She stopped herself as he looked at her. He was disturbingly handsome. What was he doing as a GP? This guy could make millions as an underwear model. She thought to herself.

“You have seen my passport?” James said curiously “What am I saying, you tracked me down of course you have. What size waist do I have?” He laughed. I don’t know but I’d happily help you find out. She shook herself. Stop it. “You however were easy to spot. Aside from the fact that most of the people here are regulars, you were obviously looking for someone. As we had a meeting it wasn’t much of a deduction”

“Maybe I should have been early?” She replied cheekily

“It wouldn’t have helped. I was early too. I have to admit you have me quite intrigued. Oh your coffee is ready. Shall we?” Sophia grabbed her coffee and James led her over to a booth in the corner of the cafe.


“So Sophia, tell me. What is your interest in Kyle and Me?” James asked once they had sat down.

“Like I said it’s a long story”

“Humour me Sophia. I managed to keep tabs on him up to the unfortunate incident with the member of the opposing gang. After that he went off the map.” Sophia looked at him surprised.

“You know about that?” She asked

“Yes. Kyle was always hot headed. I wanted to intervene, to try to get him to come away from the gang but he had left and I didn’t want to go against his wishes.” Sophia looked at James curiously.

“Well lets just say things got a lot more complex after that”

“More complex?” James said, raising an eyebrow.

“I’m about to tell you things that you will probably find hard to believe. But please trust me when I tell you they are true. I can provide evidence if you want but it’s much easier if you believe me.”

“You are making this sound very suspicious Sophia.” James said “But I am a reasonably open minded man. Go ahead”


“Ok, as you noted Kyle went off the map shortly after the incident with the opposing gang.” James nodded.

“I assumed he had gone on the run. He never was one for authority and the idea of a probation officer would have gone down badly with him”

“Actually he worked with the probation officer without any major problems. No this is the bit that you’ll find difficult to swallow.” James just sat back and sipped on a coffee. Well here goes nothing Sophia thought. “Kyle was being monitored by various secret factions because of who his parents were. The probation officer may have been an Illuminati agent.”

“Illuminati as in the pyramid with the eye?” James asked

“Yes, and no.” But that’s not important at this stage. “One night Kyle swallowed a bee. But not just any bee. This one had been sent by Gaia herself.”

“Gaia…” James said. “As in the Earth or earth like being” Sophia looked at him.


“What happened next?” James asked curious to hear the next part of the story.

“Well the bees carried powers from Gaia. Those chosen are able to perform magics to help fight against the encroaching darkness.” She realised how crazy this was sounding

“You will forgive me if I don’t believe your tale Sophia. I was with you until the magics.” She sighed. She had wanted to avoid this.

“I also got gifts from Gaia. Would you like me to share?” She asked

“Please, I’m intrigued” She reached down for the small note pad she kept handy. She cut her finger on the paper and the shot a small blood dart at James Coffee cup. It shattered into pieces.

“If I hadn’t got here in advance I would put that down to very well placed explosive charges.” He said, completely unphased. “May I see your hand?” She showed him.

“Interesting. Small paper cuts.”

“Do you believe me now?” She asked

“You do seem to have a point. Carry on.” He replied calmly.

“Well Kyle ended up being picked up by the Templar faction they…”

“I’m sorry Templar?” He asked “As in Knights Templar?”

“Yes. They have a Twitter account you know…”

“God has a Twitter account Sophia, it doesn’t mean I believe in him.” James laughed.

“You have a point. But they are real. They picked up Kyle and trained him to fight against the darkness.”


James looked at her suspiciously.

“And that’s everything?” He asked

“Not by a long shot. But he can explain the rest”

“I’m sure he can. At this point what interests me is what is your stake in this Sophia? You are obviously close to Kyle but what are you getting out of this?” He began picking up bits of broken coffee mug “Why are you here?” He asked deliberately

“I said it was complicated.” she replied

“No Sophia, magical bees and hidden factions that are urban myths are complicated. What is your stake in Kyle?” Sophia sighed.

“I used to be his fiance” She said, James raised an eyebrow. We have a daughter together. But he knows that his love for me wasn’t the same as it was for you. Our love was more like very good friends.” Sophia sighed. “Good friends who now have a child. There was nobody between you and me. It broke his heart leaving you.”


“I see.” James said simply.

“Do you?” Sophia said, a sadness in her voice. “I just want him to be happy. Even if it’s not with me. Gaia knows he needs some stability in his life” For the first time since they had met James seemed to let his guard down.

“I have always wanted to make sure he was safe, Sophia. I’d be lying if there weren’t others, it’s been over a decade but it never lasts long. I always find myself thinking back to the times Kyle & I shared, how it was taken away from us.”

“Will you meet him then?” Sophia asked quietly.

“I don’t know what you expect Sophia. Kyle may not want to see me again.”

“Believe me I’m sure he will.”

“It would be nice to catch up if nothing else” James said to himself.

“Then it’s a date.” She said. “I’ll get him to “meet” me at our usual spot in Eldwic. You can be there instead.”

“Eldwic? Nobody can get in or out because of the increased Police presence. Heightened Terrorist activity wasn’t it?”

“That’s all a front. I’ll make arrangements. Just be at a pub called the Horned God at 6pm”

“I hope you know what you are doing Sophia.” James said

“I’m sure I do. Now if you’ll excuse me I have another appointment to get to.”

“Another set of long lost lovers to reunite?” James laughed
“Nothing quite as fun” She waved and left.


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Kle    122

Kyle wandered into the Horned God. From the conversation on Twitter he figured something was going off but Sophia and Auroris were keeping tight lipped.

He grabbed a drink from the bar. He knew he was running late but Sophia was used to him by now. He could see the garden from where he was stood. It was busy but he couldn't see Sophia. Odd. She wasn't usually late. He tweeted her. She quickly responded telling him that she wasn't there and was headed to Rome. But someone else was there to meet him instead. What the hell was she playing at?

He looked outside who could she mean? He noticed a familiar figure. A tall handsome man. He was stood there in a suit looking around. Kyle didn't know what to think. Was that James? Kyle hadn't seen him since they had separated. A flood of feelings rushed over him. What the hell was he supposed to say? How the hell was he supposed to talk to this man? His phone beeped again. Sophia was tweeting him. Half the battle was done, she said. He looked over at James again. This time James had noticed him and waved at him. Kyle blushed and put his phone back in his pocket. He tried to wander casually over. He failed miserably but James didn't seem to notice. Kyle reached Him and smiled.

"Hi" he said bashfully. James smiled.

"Kyle." He said "it's good to see you again." Kyle just blushed. "It's been a long time" Kyle said nothing. James laughed. "A very long time from the look of things. You were never this quiet."

"I just didn't expect to see you" Kyle mumbled.

"Yes. Sophia was rather sneaky. But I'm glad she did this. Let's sit down."

James led the way to a table. "So what have you been up to?" He asked. "I managed to keep track of you up until the incident with the young man and the coma"

"You know about that?" Said Kyle shocked.

"I considered getting involved but you had made your feelings clear. I tried to keep an eye on you but you went off the radar after that"

"Things got complicated after that" Kyle said.

"Sophia explained a lot." James said. "It was... educational" he said.

"That's one way of putting it." Kyle sighed. "But what about you?" He asked trying to move the conversation on. James smiled.

"Me? I got bored of working at the call centre. There was only so many times I could tell people to turn it off and back on again." Kyle smiled. "I wanted to help people. So I decided to become a doctor. It wasn't easy but it's much more rewarding." Kyle looked at him with admiration in his eyes.

"You're a doctor?" He asked "but you're so handsome." James chuckled.

"I get that a lot. It's sort an in joke at the surgery actually. They're convinced that most of my patients only come to see me and don't have any medical problems"

"I can't say I blame them" Kyle said and suddenly blushed as he realised what he'd said.

"Well you haven't changed much." James said grinning.

"Sorry that was rude." Kyle stammered.

"No rude would be saying what was going through your mind" James grinned.

"I.. Errm... I..." Kyle stumbled. James reached over and held Kyle's hand.

"Relax Kyle. We've already done this remember? You don't need to be so anxious"

"How can you be so calm about this?" Kyle asked. "I left you. I've done horrible things. I have a daughter" James sat and thought about it for a while.

"I know you Kyle. You are a good person. You did what you thought was right." He smiled at Kyle "besides we all change"

"You haven't" Kyle said.

"I have." He smiled "no matter what I did I kept thinking of you."

"Really?" Kyle looked at him

"Of course." He looked deep into Kyle's eyes. "I'd be lying if I said there weren't others. But they were never anything like you. They never had that spark. That passion for life." He smiled. Kyle blushed. "Nobody else came close to you."

"I.. Really?" James thought for a second before saying.

"Look I see this is uncomfortable for you. If you like I'll go."

"No." Kyle said quickly. "Please don't go. This is just a lot to take in"

"Maybe a pub isn't the best place for a reunion." James said. "How about I grab a room and we get a bite to eat" Kyle looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. "Don't worry Kyle. We have a lot to talk about and I'm probably not going to get home tonight. I'm not suggesting anything underhanded. I'm being practical." Kyle looked at him. He was hungry. And they did have a lot to talk about that he'd rather not discuss in a pub garden.

"Ok. Sounds like a good idea." He said.

"Great. Let's head off then." James said finishing his drink.

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RecordKeeper    27

Sophia headed toward Sanctuary’s Rome headquarters. The summons by Auroris was odd in itself. Normally if he wanted to meet with someone he didn’t bother to ask them, he’d just transport them straight there regardless of what they were doing. Not to mention that he seemed a little off. He was as sarkey as ever but something about it just didn’t feel right. It annoyed her. Did they bring him back wrong? Had she done something wrong? She needed to figure out what was going on.

Thankfully she didn’t think Kyle was going to be a problem anymore. They would still need to keep tabs on him but James would be a good influence. She suspected that their romance wouldn’t be too hard to rekindle. James obviously still cared for Kyle and he was a smart man. If James hadn’t already figured out some way to get the two of them back together then she’d given him more credit than he deserved.

Part of her realised that some people might find her actions odd. But her reaction to most crisis’s was to find a way to fix things. In this case Kyle’s love was never truly going to be shared with her, tying him down to her would have just made matters worse. Getting him back with James was the only logical solution.

But right now something else needed fixing. Auroris may not actually be broken but something unusual was happening and she didn't like mysteries. She intended to get to the bottom of it.

The Rome headquarters was impressive but she didn't bother to stop and admire the view. She walked straight in quickly said

“Where is Auroris?” The staff member look confused but managed to pull herself together enough to mumble

“Excuse me but who are you?”

“I am Sophia Rose. I have a meeting with him” There was a look of disbelief.

“He’s not seeing visitors at the moment”

“I am not a visitor. I have been invited here by Auroris. And for once I had to make my own travel arrangements. No teleportation for me. I am mildly tired and quite cranky. Where is he?” She repeated

“Errm he has a room upstairs… But he’s not…” The lady began.

“I know he’s not taking visitors” Sophia said brusquely. “I’m sure he’ll be pleased to see me nonetheless” She said as she wandered past leaving the woman a little lost and confused. As Sophia was about halfway up the stairs she heard the woman say to her

“But you haven't even signed in…”

“Don’t worry. You know I’m here, and by now Auroris does. That’s all that matters” With that she wandered upstairs leaving the lady completely bemused.

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Kle    122

Kyle and James sat at the breakfast table. It was early in the morning and James still had messed up hair. Kyle smiled to himself. He looked amazing with his hair like that. This whole week had been amazing. James had arranged for a locum to cover his shifts. Apparently he was due time off but Kyle hadn't expected it to last this long. 

James looked up from his paper. 
"You seem distracted Kyle" he said. 
"A little" He admitted. 
"Talk to me then. Maybe we can figure it out" James smiled. Kyle sighed. 
"I just know this has to come to an end" he said. James looked at him shocked.
"What makes you say that?" 
"Well you have a job to return to. You can only take so much time off. Then there's the fact that it's only a matter of time before I get called away on a mission." He sighed again. "I just wish it didn't have to be so soon" James brushed a stray hair from in front of his face and smiled at him. 
"We've already discussed this Kyle. It doesn't have to end. I can get a job here. If Sanctuary don't want me there is bound to be someone in Eldwic that does."
"But this world is dangerous. It's not like the surgeries you're used to at home." Kyle protested. "People get hurt here. Civilians get hurt here" he looked at James with a sadness in his eyes. "I don't want you to be targeted" James thought to himself for a moment. 

"Where are you staying at the moment?" He asked Kyle. Kyle looked at him gone out.
"I've been with you recently at the hotel."
"Before that?" James smiled. 
"Well with Sophia." Kyle replied. "Since I got back from the Sato incident anyway" 
"Well if I'm going to stay here I need a home" James smiled "How about we get a flat together?" Kyle looked bemused. 
"You're seriously talking of leaving everything behind and being part of this?" Kyle asked. 
"I want to be as close to you as possible." James grinned cheekily. “I'd do whatever it took to be with you" Kyle didn't know how to respond. He just sat there dumbfounded. "I lost you once. I'm not losing you again." 

There was a silence between the two of them. Not an uncomfortable silence. But a moment of understanding. After a while Kyle said
"I just want you to be 100% sure you know what you're getting into." James smiled at him again. 
"I could make some rude comment. But I'm not going to. I know what I'm doing Kyle. I have enough to keep me going for a few months. And I'll have a job long before then." Kyle smiled. He secretly wanted this. But everything he had ever truly cared about had been twisted from him at some point in his life. He was scared that this too would be setting him up for a fall. 
"I'll have a word with Sanctuary and organise a meeting for you" he said "Not that my word means a lot now." James smiled at him. 
"Maybe I could be your peace offering?" He said. Even Kyle smiled. Images danced across his mind. He decided not to share them. It was breakfast after all...

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Kle    122

James arrived at Sanctuary's London Base. It was a lot less imposing than he had expected. Kyle had tried to insist on coming with him but James had put his foot down. If he failed this interview it was going to be because he wasn't suitable for the position not because they had a grudge with Kyle. Of course he hadn't told Kyle that.

He was invited into the building with caution. It was clear that the staff already knew about his connection to Kyle. This wasn't going to be an easy interview. After a while an elderly gentleman wandered up to him and showed him towards the room where his interview would take place. He politely declined a drink and was told that somebody would be there shortly.

A few minutes passed and nobody had arrived. He considered going to ask what was going on but thought better of it. Instead he waited patiently. He began to lose track of time. After a while he got up and began to inspect the bookshelves. Some truly fascinating books. As he began to read a document on an archaic and almost dead form of magic a young man rushed in. A look of fear on his face.

"Are you a doctor?" He asked quickly.

"Indeed" James almost laughed but managed to keep a straight face

"You have to come quickly. There's been an... Incident." James waited patiently.

"You understand I am not permitted to practice here?" He said to the young man

"You have to come. They need your help." The man almost screamed.

"Alright." James said calmly. "Show me the way. And try to explain what has happened.”

“Everything..." the young man started rambling. James just looked at him. "You will need to be a little clearer." He said calmly. "If the situation is as grave as you say then I need you to be calm and tell me everything you know" The young man looked at him and took a deep breath.

"They were getting ready to meet you." He said. "They had their usual brandy and then they just fell unconscious. That never happens!" James nodded.

"And what next?" The man looked confused "what do you mean they fell unconscious. What happened next?"

"I came to find you" They had reached the a study where four people were apparently unconscious in their large armchairs.

"Who served their brandy?" James asked

"I did. I always do." James went up to each and every one of them and performed a brief examination. Next he went to one of the glasses and went to take sip. The young man gasped and quickly said

“Wait you can’t....” James looked at him.

“Why?” he asked

“What if it’s been poisoned?” The young man began

“Poison?" James laughed “If that is poison you may wish to have words with your supplier" He smiled. "They are fine. The have just been given a heavy sedative. Keep an eye on them and make sure they drink plenty of water when they wake up.” The young man watched James cautiously “I also suspect they are not the people I am supposed to meet" He turned around to the young man. "So have I passed your test. After all it was you I was supposed to meet?" The man looked a little surprised.

“When did you figure it out?” He asked

“Fairly early on” James smiled. “Firstly I know you have a medical facility here. It seemed odd that you would come rushing to find aid from the one person who was coming for an interview.” The young man sighed. “Also people who are poisoned usually have some kind of external symptoms and don’t generally snore” He laughed out loud.

“You do realise that quite a few people have undergone the same test and only a couple of people have actually passed”

“Interesting” James said

“One simply called 999. It was most inconvenient” The young man said

“I can imagine. Although if they were going to call the emergency services every time an Agent came into the building with an injury they would probably not be suited to the position” James chuckled.

“Quite. Shall we move to the actual meeting room?” The young man asked

“Not before you ensure that these people have the medical attention they need. They will be dehydrated when they wake up. And they really shouldn’t be left to lay in that position, it’s quite dangerous. I would rather stay with them until they wake” As james said this three medical staff entered the room.

“That will not be necessary. These staff are qualified to attend to their needs” James watched them carefully.

“Very well, lead the way” James said.

The rest of the meeting was fairly routine. Almost dull in fact compared to the start. Routine questions about his work history and background. But after a while they started asking about Kyle. James politely pointed out that it was Sophia Rose who had reunited them and he had not been in contact with Kyle for over a decade until now. When they continued down the same road James simply replied

“Kyle is his own man. I am not responsible for his prior actions. However now that I am back in his life I hope to be a stabilizing influence. If I am to get this job it will be on my merits and what I bring to this organisation. Not my relationship with Kyle Hudson or his past actions”

Someone tried to follow up on his statement but he quickly interrupted them saying

“If you wish to discuss Kyle further then I suggest you bring him into this interview. I’m afraid I don’t feel comfortable discussing our relationship without him present.”

“We do need to discuss this with you Mr Hemsworth. Hudson has a questionable history” One of the interviewers said. James stood up and went to the door.

“True, and you are not giving him the opportunity to defend himself nor are you giving me a fair interview by bringing my relationship into this. It does not impede me from my work and that is what you should be concentrating on.”

“We are just trying to ensure that your relationship with Hudson is nothing underhanded”

“Right now that is the least of your worries. I have been to many interviews. This is by far the worst and most unprofessional.” James said and walked out. He would rather be unemployed than put up with that kind of inquisition, he thought to himself as we walked out of the building.

Moments later his phone rang. He recognised the voice straight away as that of the young man with the poor acting skills from earlier on.

“Mr Hemsworth?” He asked

“Doctor.” James corrected him. He didn’t use the title very often but the interview had annoyed him.

“I apologise. We would like to offer you a position here at the London Sanctuary base. If you are still interested” The young man said

“Even after I walked out?” James asked with a smile on his face

“Well… Yes. Actually that sort of helped. Although it did annoy some of the older staff to the younger members of the board like myself it showed that you were willing to stand up for something you believed in. In this case the fact that you felt that the job should be based on your skills not your relationship with Hudson.”

“You do realise that was by far one of the most unprofessional interviews I have ever been to?” James asked
“You do need to see it from our side too” The young man said “Hudson has been problematic of late. Then you suddenly appear. We had reason to be cautious.”

“Of course. But there were better ways to handle it”

“Agreed. If you are still interested we can make arrangements with your current employer and make sure you have suitable accommodation here if you need it”

“I am interested. I will not need accommodation however if you can deal with my current employer I would be most grateful”

“Consider it done. We will send you the details of your position shortly. And again my apologies for the interview.”

“As long as everyone learned their lesson” James laughed “And next time try to make sure your “poison” victims don’t snore”

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