Didn't Take


aviators2_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Didn't Take
Synopsis Raith and Eileen enact their plan to telepathically discern Epstein's motivations with Kaylee's assistance.
Date February 22, 2010

The Corinthian

No night is complete without the flashing lights of an ambulance and the presence of paramedics in a hotel lobby.

By ten in the evening, most of the crowd at the Corinthian Hotel is clearing out to slide beneath the line of curfew on their way home. The lobby of the hotel is crowded with passers by moving from the different wings of the building, flooding out onto the street and creating a background din of voices and laughter into the night. Not too far from the ballroom's large main entrance, a small group of people aren't quite ready to take that journey home yet. Still seated and on the path to recovery from her chemical-induced mental break, Eileen Ruskin — in the company of Jensen Raith — is a sweat-slicked tangle of greasy hair and pallid skin.

Two rows of benches down, paramedics crouch by the side of an older brunette woman looking to be rousing from a state of unconsciousness and unresponsiveness. Crouched by the side of Wendy Hunter, looking to be speaking with the paramedics and the recovering woman whom had collapsed on the floor of the gala. This disparity of closeness leaves Kaylee Thatcher trapped somewhere between Jensen's seemingly crumbled plan of mental attack against Aviators, and Peter's growing desire to just go home for the night.

Among the crowd of visitors to the hotel's grand opening, one seems smugly inappropriate in the background when he emerges from an elevator. Cradling a glass dish of almonds in one hand, quietly picking through them, agent Avi Epstein seems smirkingly pleased with himself when he strolls out into the lobby. Overcoat buttoned and stolen dish of nuts in one hand, he waits quietly outside of the elevator as the crowd in front of him begins to thin.

Blissfully unaware of Raith and Eileen's presence on the bench at the opposite side of the ground floor lobby, Aviators starts to make a swaggering progression across the tiled floor through the crowd, seeming intent on making his way out of the building for the evening.

Who says opportunity doesn't knock twice? Whoever they are, Jensen Raith would punch them in the teeth.

Sometimes, it does knock twice. Opportunity, that is. And Raith knows better than to risk wasting the opportunity. "Eileen, Count Dracula at two o'clock," he says, "Without his sunglasses, his powers are weak. Listen, here's the plan." Quickly, but not too quickly, he ducks and turns his back to the incoming Epstein, looking as though he is simply crouching next to Eileen. "Don't let him leave. He's had a bit to drink, so it should be easy enough to keep him distracted. Ask him questions, grab his nuts, whatever it takes. I'll flag Kaylee down, get her into position. You got all that? You're tough, you can manage this. Okay?"

Long fingers move to tuck a long length of hair behind her ear, Kaylee glances over at Raith and Eileen. A soft sigh escapes her as her eyes wander back to Peter, teeth bit lightly at her lip, uncertain what to do. Of course, as she looks at Peter, there is movement out of the corner of her eye. Her head moves ever so sightly to watch the progress of the Agent out of the corner of her eye.

When he passes behind her, Kaylee has to turn her head the other way to continue watching for a moment, before letting her eyes flick over to the two Remnants, a single blonde brow lifting as if to ask, Well?

Sickly and wan, Eileen sits on the bench with Raith's coat draped over her narrow shoulders, small hands clutching the material between their bent fingers and the garment's front drawn shut partway shut. She stopped talking in riddles a few minutes after Gillian hauled her off the dance floor and hasn't spoken a word to anyone since, but it's clear now that she's mentally where she needs to be; her focus sharpens at the sight of Epstein, gray eyes growing hard, and as Raith crouches down on a knee beside her, she rises from her seat on the bench, places one hand on his shoulder to steady herself, and removes the coat with the other.

"Of course I can," she tells Jensen in a voice that, while soft, is also very low and steady. "Don't forget whose idea this was." Offering the coat to Kaylee, she meets her gaze and implores her without words to be careful. They've been over everything at least once before, and their plan doesn't allow for mistakes on anyone's part. Whether the telepath takes it or not, she's moving away in the moments the immediately follow Raith's encouragement, strides surprisingly even for someone who couldn't keep her feet under her less than an hour ago.

Or at least that's how it looks until she crosses Epstein's path. As if jostled from behind by an unseen force, she staggers a half-step, seizes the agent's forearm in her dominant hand to catch herself and murmurs a drunken, throaty apology under her breath before attempting to straighten, push off and continue on her way as if she hadn't recognized him at all.

Her destination appears to be a more secluded corridor leading into a darkened area of the hotel.

"Watch it y'drunk sl— " Words slur to a stop when Aviators catches peripheral familiarity to the woman that just bumped into him. He jerks his head in the direction she'd stumbled into him from, doesn't find her there, and then looks to the opposite side and turns fully around, catching only the sight of her slipping thorugh an open doorway and into the stairs access hall beside the elevators. Dark brows furrow, and Aviators stares at the stairwell for a moment, shifting his weight to one foot and resting a hand on his hip before cracking a lopsided smile.

Cute, he thinks to himself with a shake of his head, very cute. Alright, if you want to play that game… He starts walking, moving towards the doorway Eileen had gone into, before stopping at the threshold of the long, dimly lit corridor. Hands on his hips Aviators cracks a smile, listening to the click-click-click of Eileen's heels on the tile floor.

Stalking in through the doorway, Aviators follows many paces behind Eileen, just listening to the sound of her footsteps, before he begins whistling to announce his approach, a whimsical little tune with a lot of up and down inflection on the notes, something playful and teasing as he follows her down the corridor, seeming to be enjoying the walk.

Fortunately, Cousin Avi hasn't changed all that much over the years: Get a couple drinks in him and he turns into a grade A dum dum. Also, he remains about as foul-mouthed as a sailor. Some things, alcohol can't change. "Quiet now," Raith whispers to Kaylee, taking his coat back from her and waiting a few moments before he starts after Avi and Eileen, keeping his distance but walking as if he was meaning to go in that direction regardless. Nothing to see here, folks. He pauses just inside of the doorway the others passed through and waits, not only for Kaylee to catch up, but also for the other two to reach what he feels is a 'safe distance' and they won't be accidentally overheard before he continues forward again.

The coat is taken and draped over her arm, her head dips down at Eileen in a single nod of understanding, blonde hair sliding over her shoulder. Kaylee is quiet as she follows Eileen's progress after Epstein. The closer the woman gets to the man, the bigger the nervous butterflies get in Kaylee's stomach, as she really doesn't want to screw this up for them. She can do subtle at least, it worked at NYU.

Watching the smug man follow after Eileen, Kaylee grimaces. "I do not like that man." She murmurs to no one in particular, as the coat is taken from her by Raith. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly to try and calm her broiling nerves, Kaylee finally follows. The young woman moves carefully, walking softly on the balls of her feet so the heels of her shoes don't click as she moves to catchup to Raith.

It's a little bit like fishing. Eileen has never been, of course. Not properly. Watching Ethan haul in the nets on the small seiners the Vanguard sometimes chartered to get from place to place does not count, but she can clearly envision the fine line that links them together and the curved hook flashing silver in Epstein's mouth. She reels him in one step at a time, stopping in a shallow pool of moonlight seeping in from the window at the end of the corridor where it branches off into two separate hallways studded with numbered doors.

She steadies herself against the wall and glances between the two signs that differentiate one hallway from the other. A protracted pause at the end of her assessment adds to the illusion, though she doesn't look lost when she turns her head to steer her gaze back over her shoulder at Epstein's approaching figure. Eileen rarely does. A bewildered expression on her face would be out of place, no matter how much alcohol she has supposedly consumed.

Green eyes squint in the dark, then widen a fraction as recognition dawns across her mouth in the form of a flourishing that for once actually shows teeth. "Can't get enough of me, can you?"

"I've had my fill now and then…" Aviators comments from the other end of the hall, one shoe scuffing slowly after the other. I guess you have too. Cracking a smile, he stops some fifteen feet out from Eileen, back to the hall behind him, doors to the left and the right, the pale glow of moonlight shadowing one side of his face. "You know, your friends were being really dumb tonight, being here, being at the party with you?" One of his dark brows rise slowly and a few more meandering footsteps are taken ahead, bringing him just shy of ten feet from the waifish young woman.

"You know that's technically in violation of your parole…" There's a crooked quality to his smile. Parsons would be so disappointed in you flashes thorugh his mind, followed by a snorted laugh, not that he'll care much now. "I guess that means you… how's this work?" Aviators toys with his chin, tapping fingers there as his eyes wander the walls, moving in closer now, "You owe me, so I keep my mouth shut? I think that's how this works."

Pausing, he raises a finger up and postulates a question to Eileen. "Exactly how much do you know about the terms of your probation anyway?" There's a smug look of amusement on Aviators lips, "Outside of the fact that Sarisa told you that you have one and that you're not supposed to be cavorting around with your old pack mates?"

A hand rests on Raith's arm, Kaylee's head tilts, working at the outer fringes of her range. It's tough, but doable. Her posture relaxes a bit as she hears the first sign of thoughts. She concentrates on them, simply listening to the thoughts as they bubble to the surface of Aviator's mind, trusting Raith to guide her as needed. Not that's the blonde is totally helpless, she just doesn't want to screw this up. There is no real hint to what she's doing, not daring to press closer.

"I'm here with Leonardo Maxwell," Eileen corrects Epstein, "President of the Maxwell Development Corporation. And this is a formal function open to the public — you can't hold me responsible for who's on the guest list and who isn't."

The smell of her perfume compounded by sweat mixes with the champagne on her breath. Tonight, the stale tobacco aroma that so often clings to her hair and clothes is notably absent. She showered before she pinned up her hair and put on her dress, and has not yet had the opportunity to fish her cigarettes from her coat pocket this evening. She's late to take her medication, too, but staying on schedule with her antidepressants is considerably less important than what's at stake right now.

She draws in a long, slow breath that's audible as a faint hiss leaking through her front teeth as she pulls herself fully upright, back flush against the wall, and reaches up to tuck a strand of oily hair behind her ear and the pearl winking in its delicate white lobe. "But let's say, for the sake of argument, that I am…"

"For the sake of argument," Aviators echoes, continuing his slow walk forward. "Let's say your terrorist friends weren't actually on the guest list, but a Seymour Butts and Ian P. Freely were, which I can only imagine is Jensen trying to play head games with me." Which is kind of cute, "So then you go…" Aviators wiggles two fingers in a pantomime of walking motions with one hand, clearing the distance between himself and Eileen, "and bump into me when I'm on my way out, and come slinking down this little corridor where there don't happen to be any security cameras."

Aviators stops, just outside of arm's reach, brows furrowed and lips crooked up into a smile. He leans in, bringing his face close to hers, breathing in from her temple, eyes halfway lidded. "Let's say for the sake of argument… you were trying to lure me into a trap…" There's a brush of his nose there, angling her head to the side as he moves a hand up to rest on her flat hip.

"I'd probably have to kill you." He says in a hushed exhalation of breath, "Right here. I could even blame it on Danko." The grip of his hand on her waist becomes uncomfortable. "Is this a trap? Eileen?"

So far, so good. Raith keeps Kaylee from venturing any closer while tossing a glance over his shoulder. So far, just him, Kaylee, Eileen, Avi, the fire extinguisher, and part of a potted plant. He only really wishes that Kaylee could take the risk of keeping him presently informed on what she's learning.

Eileen's body tenses under Epstein's hand, the muscles of her lower stomach contracting beneath flimsy gaze and taffeta. The straps of her dress are mere wisps of fabric, opaque in the same way that the rose pale lipstick she wears on her mouth is. He has her on edge, which is not so unusual — they've danced this dance in the privacy of her apartment, and she'd responded the same way to him then.

"Jensen knows where you live," she points out, dropping her hand to the one at her hip. Fingers curl cool around his wrist. "He doesn't need me to lure you anywhere." She lifts her chin, lips moving against the side of his face as she speaks. This is easier when she can direct her focus on the opposite wall and the reflection of Epstein's back in the glass case that houses the same fire extinguisher Raith is presently eyeing.

"Danko's here?"

One brow comes up, a smile creeps across Aviators' lips, "Danko's here," and hopefully he doesn't spoil all of his "…and I ran into him up on the roof. We talked, laughed about the good old days, you know… the usual." She's so scared, like a little bird that fell out of its nest. This is kind of nice, I wonder how long I can play this off before someone ruins it? Lifting his hand from her waist, Aviators is quick to grab one of Eileen's thin wrists, forcing it behind her back as he leans in closer, brows furrowed.

"And Jensen doesn't know anything." There's that cocky smile again, his head quirked to the side and lips pursed. "So now I think you need to start asking yourself how much you owe me, and how does agent Epstein plan on making me pay him back?" There's a crooked quality to Aviators smile as he leans away from Eileen, watching her with an amused curl of his lips.

"I need you to do me a favor," Aviators asks with a knife-thin smile, eyes narrowed, "will you do me a favor, Eileen?"

There is a furrowing of Kaylee's brow, a tightening of her hand on Raith's arm, clearly she's not liking something she's hearing. The young woman is not enjoying hearing such predatory thoughts, though in truth they are mild compared to the mentioned Danko… that was a scary mind. Realizing she's going tense, Kaylee forces her hand to relax, a glancing going to Raith, blonde hair swishing across bare shoulder blades when she shakes her head, as if to say, 'Nothing yet.'

Eileen's fear does not translate to the expression seated on her face when Epstein pulls back to get a better look at her. She watches his mouth instead of his eyes, no outward indication that her heart is hammering away in her chest so hard that she feels like it might burst. Her breathing, too, is carefully measured and does not betray anything except for the fact that the proximity of Epstein's body is making her very warm.

Kaylee needs to get closer, and for that to happen their target has to be suitably distracted. He isn't, yet.

Resolve makes steel of her jaw and tightens the tendons in the wrist trapped behind her back and the wall. She hasn't been physically intimate with anyone since Gabriel. More importantly, she hasn't wanted to. It's fortunate that Kaylee is the one with telepathy, because the thoughts that are going through her head aren't very pleasant when she curves the thumb of her free hand across Epstein's mouth to part his lips and feel his teeth with her fingers.

"You want to fuck me?" she asks. "I'll let you. Vacant room, my apartment, the back of your car — right here. All the favours you want. Just answer a question for me first."

That makes him laugh, toothy smile and bright eyes and all. "Careful," his head turns away, "Next time you'll pull back a bloody knuckle." There's a brightness to that teasing, to the narrowed eyes and thinner smile offered. "No…" Aviators manages to hiss out in a breath as his hand comes away from Eileen's hip and his brows crinkle together. "No if I wanted that there'd be easier ways." His tongue glides across his lips, much easier ways. His eyes narrow, consider Eileen for a moment, and he leans to stand up straight again and take a step back from her. Head tilting to the side like an animal trying to puzzle out prey.

"But if you're consenting to what I want," both of Avi's dark brows go up, "why don't you tell me, Eileen, what it is you want to know?" What could she possibly want to know? "Because I'm all ears, and maybe— just maybe— I'll even give you a straight answer." She's either buying time, or she thinks I actually know something. This feels wrong. She never asks for help unless she's desperate. Too proud. "Why come to me, what makes you think I can help?"

Inch by inch. Raith eases Kaylee just a bit closer, slowly to minimize sound as much as they can, moving only at the right moments. When Avi is too busy listening to himself talk to hear anything else. And maybe, just maybe, Avi's evening will end with a very bad surprise.

Being guided along, Kaylee's hand slides off Raith's arm, fingers trailing as she takes another step forward at his insisting. Her heels never touch the floor as she moves forward on the balls of her feet, each step slow and cautious. Just get a little closer, is in her own thoughts, while Eileen works on distracting the agent. Thought she's really not enjoying those thoughts now, disdain for the Agent coloring her thoughts.

Kaylee's head tilts slightly as his thoughts slowly get sharper, clearer then the step before, the tension of straining easing some.

He keeps using her name. She doesn't like that any more than the way he's looking at her. Eileen takes advantage of the vacated space between them to draw in deeper breaths, and although she knows what happened in the ballroom was almost certainly a direct result of Logan's ability, fear of another attack lurks close to the front of her mind, fresh in her memory.

The first words out of her mouth are of course, "Gabriel Gray." Then; "I want to know who gave the order, and what arrangements you made with Danko. I visited him at Holliswood, he told me Kershner — I don't believe him."

Did she just— // For the barest of moments both of Avi's brows go up to his hairline. //Oh. The agent's forehead wrinkles, then those brows lower into a furrow. "That's cute," Aviators comments with a lopsided smile, Christ I thought she'd seen him somewhere, that'd be a problem. "Sarisa isn't in any position to be ordering hits on anyone. But I guess," there's a sly lowering of one brow and a raising of another, "we might actually have some similar interests at the moment."

Tucking his hands into the pockets of his slacks, Aviators wrinkles his nose, shifting his weight to one foot slightly. How do I get her to do this and think it's her own idea? "The order to kill Gray came directly through me," Aviators admits with a quirk of his head to the side, "right after we arrived on Marion Island. The order came from the top of the food chain, so I'm willing to bet from over Autumn's head— maybe the President himself." Bite the hook little wormy.

"Danko got selected to be the hit man for the job, since he has… comisserate experience." One of Aviators' brows rises. "Danko was given a team of marines for the job, which he had orders to execute once the assignment was over." One hand motions around the hall, a shoulder rising in a shrug while he gesticulates during speech. "I was to meet Danko at a submarine rendezvous point in Antarctica, and pop him one in the back of the head once the mission was over." Brows furrow, and the corners of Aviators' lips downturn into a frown, "It didn't take."

Rolling his tongue over the inside of his cheek, he turns to the side, but keeps his focus on Eileen, pointing at her with two fingers. "Now I need to get Emile's ass in a sling, and I want you to help me do it."

There is a look of frustration on Kaylee's face as she listens, her head twisting to the side, eyes not even really look at Raith, as if straining to hear every last word. There is a soundless sigh from Kaylee, her gaze settling on Raith finally, a touch of curiosity on her features, but she gives yet another little shake of her head. Painted lips, press in a tight line her expression one of disappointment. She wants to say something to the man next to her, but doesn't risk outing themselves or disrupting her eavesdropping.

"What do you mean it didn't take?" There's an edge to Eileen's voice that wasn't there before, and like a steel ribbon it slices through the stillness of the air between them. She steps away from the wall, narrowing the distance again. No longer is her wrist caught behind her — she's raising her hand as if to strike him, but it's as though the same invisible force that propelled her into him earlier is now holding her arm back.

She's suspected for a very long time that Epstein was involved in the operation. To hear the order came through him has her gaunt and livid, her entire body trembling with the effort of holding back. "You can't tell me that your superiors approve of the fact he's running loose if he was supposed to receive the same treatment Gray did. He's been in a fucking hospital for the past two weeks. Any one of you suits could have moved on him then!"

Holding up two hands, Aviators turns his back fully to Raith and Kaylee again, taking a few steps away from Eileen as he raises his hands up in a shoulder-shruggy motion. "Slow down there Cowboy," Aviators grouses as Eileen's tempers flare. This is perfect, absolutely perfect. Typical Eileen. "Okay, so maybe I wasn't entirely straight with you about things. It, didn't take because Danko took my gun from me and broke my fucking arm in three places and knocked some of my teeth out." He looks very good for a man missing a great deal of teeth. "Also, there was this little problem that maybe— just maybe— I was interpreting "rendezvous with Danko and bring him home" to say "rendezvous with Danko and shoot him in the face" a little." There's a crack of a smile there.

"Look, all that matters is that Kershner's pet mad scientist's little injection does wonders for my complexion and all I have to do is take prophylactic anti-virals the rest of my life." There's a toothy smile offered to Eileen as Aviators lowers his hands slowly. "Now, just because I have a personal grudge with that little shit-heel doesn't mean we can't be friends. So why don't we play patty cake," he holds out his hands as if prompting Eileen to actually play fucking patty-cake with him, "and we can talk about what to do with that little bald son of a bitch."

Well, this seems to be going oddly in their favor. Somehow. Raith isn't ready to take Kaylee away, not just yet. Not until he gets a more definite cue from Eileen that he should. There's bound to be a little bit left that maybe the telepath can pick out. Or maybe pick out how much of what he's saying is the truth or not.

And the telepath is listening in like a good girl. Aviator's words really grab her attention though, brows lifting curiously. She'd personally, like to see the guy go down as well, to protect people she cares about. Not to mention he already wasted his mercy card on becoming a free man again.

Blue eyes shift to Raith, brows lifting to show she's noticing that the tables seem to be going their way… despite the man obviously wants them to do the foot work, which prompts a amused tug at the corner of her lips.

Eileen's eyes move between Epstein's hands and his face. Once she threatened to choke the life out of the man responsible for authorizing Gabriel's assassination. Now he's standing right in front of her, and she looks prepared to do exactly that. Any fear he might have been able to detect when he had her pinned between his chest and the wall has drained away and been replaced by the kind of irreconcilable fury that makes her blood run cold instead of hot.

As she pursues him at a slow cobra creep, her gaze takes on a snakelike quality, glittering and black in the absence of true light. She seeks out his hands, winds her fingers through his and clamps down, compressing his knuckles with enough force to send pain shooting up the nerves of both his arms. Her nails bite into his skin.

"Why me? Why not Jensen? Why not someone with experience?"

Wincing, Aviators cranes his head to the side and quirks up one brow slowly, the expression on his face slowly draining from a smile to that of a scowl. "Because Jensen is a big, scary, dangerous man… and you're a harmless little girl who also happens to be able to see through the eyes of birds." There's a narrowing of Aviators' eyes as he waves one hand flippantly at Eileen. "You don't hit a nail with a sledgehammer when something smaller and more… delicate can do the job more quietly." His fingers flex, shoulders square and Aviators looks down at Eileen, running his tongue over his teeth behind his lips.

"You don't want to fuck with me, Ruskin. You don't have any idea what I'm capable of, or what I'd do to you if you get between me and what I want." Brows furrowed, Aviators' stares down at her silently for a moment. You silly little crazy bitch, you're going to get me exactly what I want.

"I need you to use your little connections to find someone who can track back Danko's leash, see who's hand it lands in. I want to know who at the top of the food chain is keeping him around, because Kershner doesn't know. You have a lot of little friends who'd be thrilled to help you dig up some dirt on Danko and the Petrelli administration."

Running his tongue over his lower lip, Aviators looks askance at the wall, then back to Eileen. "Now let go of me," his eyes narrow slowly, "before I hurt you."

There are a number of tools that are smaller and more delicate than a sledgehammer. Claw hammers, tack hammers, chisels — unfortunately for Epstein, Eileen isn't feeling very delicate or small. What's she's feeling is enraged. Betrayed. He had the opportunity to circumvent Gabriel's murder and did not, even after they fought together in Madagascar, even after Eileen stitched up his eye and committed herself to protecting him from the other members of Team Bravo in case they decided that making him kneel in the mud before putting a bullet in the back of his head was less risky than taking him with them.

She would have fought with Gabriel to preserve Avi Epstein's life, and it's partly because of Avi Epstein that Gabriel is dead.

To say that something inside her snaps would be inaccurate. For one thing, it implies that she was holding herself together. For another, what she does next is drawn out, deliberate and does not consist of actions strung sloppily together in haste. She releases her grip on his hands, slides her palms up his arms and chest, all the way up past his neck to tangle her fingers roughly in her parole officer's hair.

Her lips part in an almost carnal manner, eyes beginning to lid, and for a moment it looks as though she's going to kiss him. She doesn't. Pulls down his face in an abrupt motion and drives her forehead into the bridge of his nose.

The immediate motion Aviators makes is a jerk of his head backwards and hands clutching his face. His legs gwobble, knees buckle, and when he's reaching out for a door to try and stop his descend, bloodied fingers leave a streak over a doorknob before he crashes down to the ground and onto his back. Chuffing out a bloodied breath through his broken nose, Aviators makes a confused sound, bubbling up a snow bubble crimson colored from his right nostril, eyes crossed and lips parted in a stunned expression of what before he breathes out a croaking breath and lets the back of his head clunk down against the tile floor.

Maybe the tiny and harmless parts were a bit of an exaggeration.

Whatever the immediate result of this situation is for Eileen, it's left Raith giving a particular response. Were the situation different, and it was Eileen on the floor bleeding, Avi Epstein would be able to appreciate the dark humor behind the hand signal that Raith is giving to the woman, both hands raised over his head. Touchdown!

And then, he is immediately making a very different hand signal to Eileen, this time to indicate that they should get the hell outta Dodge. Which is exactly what he's doing at this instant, dragging Kaylee with him. Go. Just go.

To say Kaylee looks impressed in an understatement, jaw dropping some. The recovery is quick as Raith starts dragging her the way they came. Turning to walk backwards, Kaylee gives her silent applaud. That was fucking awesome Eileen. After some of what she heard in his head… oh yeah… he deserved it. An amused shake of her head she lets Raith drag her back out and to Peter.

From Epstein's perspective, a pair of pearl-toned shoes click past his broken nose oozing blood onto the pristine marble floors. It's taking all of Eileen's concentration to walk in a straight line, and this has nothing to do with the champagne in her system or any lingering effects of the temporary insanity Logan inflicted upon her — she has one hand lifting up the train of her dress to keep from tripping over it while the other presses its heel against her forehead. Darkness swims in the corners of her vision.

Somehow, unlike Epstein, she manages to remain upright.

As feet brush over the floor of the hall, the noise of Eileen, Raith and Kaylee's escape becomes imminent, Aviators lays there on his back unable to move, sprawled out flat on the floor. There's a silence that hangs in that dead end corridor for a moment, before the lights give a flicker, electricity ebbing and crackling and causing the fluorescent lamps to gutter to flood that hall in darkness save for a single column of moonlight spilling in through a window.

When the lights come back on, there's no blood on that doorknob, chomed metal shiny and polished like it was earlier this morning. More importantly, there's no one laying on the tile floor, no one at all.

No witnesses but the moon.

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