There was, as usual, nothing on television. Leon powered the TV off and tossed the remote onto the table in front of him, and reached forward to grab the corner of the ledger nearest him. He dragged it closer and flipped it into his hands, cracked it open and began scanning the pages; he was quite curious to learn what was so important about these records that he'd been sent to dust an entire Sabbat coven to acquire them. After forty minutes of study, however, his head starting hurting and he snapped the ledger shut. There was nothing in the pages that told him anymore than he knew already: that a couple of Tzimisce had moved into town and started getting into the club business, which was highly irregular to begin with; that the profits were being used to bankroll a number of local covens that were producing some new kind of street drug, and his client, Leroy Marsdale, a local Ventrue entrepreneur and real estate mogul, was worried that his properties were being used by the Sabbat for their own 'nefarious purposes', as he'd so colorfully put it.
While Marsdale was on his mind, he decided to give the pompous little bastard a call and express his disapproval at being sent blindly into a full Sabbat nest. He rose from the couch and went into the study, a darkly lit room filled with dusty old tomes and scrolls, moth-eaten pages and lovingly re-crafted books. Many were simply historical works, accounts and autobiographies of Kindred and Kine that had influenced the world without garnering the destructive attention of history, or lost volumes of poetry or literature from a hundred different ages in a hundred dead languages. Others were far darker in origin, scriptures and grimorums detailing mystical rituals, insidious magics, and detailed accounts of meetings with beings of both the Higher Planes and the Lower Realms. In life, Leon had been an avid scholar and historian, and undeath had not dampened his lust for knowledge. It was, he reflected from time to time, probably that very quality that had attracted his sire to him, a beautifully ancient Tremere sorceress by name of Veldana Deschaine.
He shook his head to clear the memories from his mind before they could grip him any further; there was work to be done. Reminiscing could wait. He rummaged through his desk for one of the many burn phones he kept active for contacting clients and other such business. When he found one, he turned and left the study, locking it tight as he left, and returned to the living room couch. As his fingers were about to angrily jam in Leroy's number, he glanced up and noticed the girl with the very large sword on his stairs.
"Oh, Neko. You're home. Good. There's food in the fridge, if you're hungry."
The girl nodded curtly and rose from her seat on the stairs, and stalked down to the kitchen as quietly as any Kindred. Leon was pretty certain the girl was human, but she was easily the most unusual Kine he'd ever met. She couldn't have been more than 12 or 13, and he was reasonably certain her real name was not 'Neko'. But it was the name she'd given herself when he'd taken her in, and that was alright with him. She had never spoken, not once in the two years since he'd found her wandering in an asylum one night while he was on a case. He had been hired to extract, or if necessary, assassinate, a Malkavian caitiff who had allowed himself to be captured by police, and refused to exit custody on his own. If the Kine had had the chance to study him, the Masquerade would certainly have been imperiled; the Primogen were adamant that the prodigal Kindred be educated as to the error of his ways, one way or another.
Leon had infiltrated the asylum without trouble, and the fledgling was easy enough to track down. But by the time he'd reached his target, the poor bastard had already killed two of the orderlies and was dangerously close to frenzy. Leon had had no choice but to put him down. As he was leaving, he noticed a young girl with a katana following along behind him. At first he mistook her for a Hunter, and turned on her with every intention to kill her in her tracks. But as he ran at her, the girl showed no sign of fear or anxiety. She never even drew her sword, which was almost as tall as she was. His hand stopped inches from her neck, and their eyes met. If anything, he was more unnerved by the encounter than she was. He turned on his heels and left the asylum, chalking the whole incident up to just another weird night in New York, and expected never to see the girl again.
And then she showed up in his apartment four nights later.
He'd been shocked as hell when he woke up one night and found her sitting on his couch, her katana still in hand. Her expression had been one of absolute serenity, as if she had every right and reason in the world to be there. Leon tried at first to engage the girl in some conversation, but quickly realized it was a lost cause. If she could speak, she wouldn't. The only attempt at direct communication she had ever made with him had been to scratch one word into his wall with the point of her sword. 'Neko'. In the end, he simply accepted her presence and she became something of a mainstay; she came and went as she pleased, she was never without her sword, and she gave the distinct impression that despite her age, she could protect herself quite capably. He never found out what the girl was doing in the asylum that night. And he doubted he ever would. She was very much like her namesake suggested: a master of the art of simply existing, without any obvious purpose or direction.
He returned his attention to the phone in his hand and punched in Marsdale's number. After a few rings, the Ventrue's secretary picked up. "Venture Enterprises, how may I direct your call?"
"This is Mr. Brentwood. Please inform Mr. Marsdale I wish to speak with him immediately," Leon all but snarled into the phone, his grip dangerously close to crushing the cheap plastic.