“I don't remember,” she stuttered.
“We live in the same building? Remember?” He held up his hand and forced her mind to see a key card to match her own.
She leaned forward slightly to see a card with his picture on it and apartment number. Her shoulders began to relax. “Oh, yeah. ”
“I just moved here from France, remember? I'm so sorry I startled you. I've had a very late night myself and I was just walking back when I saw you. I was over at IHOP sobering up. You know how cabs are at this time of the night. ” He smiled at her gently.
“Oh,” she rubbed her brow, and studied him, obviously trying to remember him. “Yeah. I know about cabs. I know it's stupid to drive when I live so close by, but with high heels on and all. ” She floundered and looked nervous.
He could easily force her to have a false memory, but he enjoyed toying with people and seeing them trying to rationalize his actions into their world view.
“Well, anyway, I'm glad you are okay. I'll see you around. ” He turned to walk on, his hands tucked into his trouser pockets.
“Oh, well, Patrick, why don't you ride back with me?”
She motioned to her car and glanced toward the horizon. It was slowly growing light and he knew from his many years of life that humans found the sun a comforting signet.
“That would be very kind of you,” he answered and slowly walked around the car. He settled in as she pulled the seatbelt over her lap and chest.
“I had a good time last night, but I definitely drank too much,” she said as she turned on the car.
He knew she was working up to apologizing for not remembering him.
“I'm afraid I did too. I went to IHOP for three hours trying to sober up. I barely remembered your name. ” He gave her a charming smile.
She laughed with relief. “I really don't remember you either. I guess because we don't live on the same floor I haven't seen you before. ”
“I'm sure we'll see more of each other now,” he assured her.
The tiny sports car zipped up the streets as she made her way back to the apartment building in a roundabout way forced by all the one way street signs.
“That would be cool. I was thinking of doing a barbecue for some people in the building,” she said, and turned onto the ramp leading into the parking garage.
“That sounds quite lovely,” The Summoner decided. “I do enjoy socializing. ”
She quickly swiped her card and the gate slowly lifted. The little car zipped up the ramp and she maneuvered to the correct level. “Me, too. I mean, hell, you're only young once. Might as well enjoy it. ” She turned the wheel and the car slid easily into her parking slot.
Climbing out of the car, The Summoner could feel the exquisite pleasure of the hunt ratcheting up. The pretty girl with her swinging blond hair and firm body came around the car and headed toward the elevator.
“I'm kinda glad you were walking back. Kinda needed a second set of eyes. God, the cops are so cracking down on people driving drunk. ” She rolled her eyes. “I know it's dangerous, but sheesh. It's like the gestapo. ”
She punched the button for the elevator and he stepped up next to her.
“One of the annoyances of life and going out. Trying to outwit the authorities. ”
“I remember when I had a fake ID. That seemed so dangerous. ” She laughed.
The doors opened and she hopped inside.
He deliberately waited.
“Coming?” she asked.
“I didn't want to make you uncomfortable,” he said smoothly. He waited calmly for his invitation into the elevator, and thus into Cian's little world.
“Come on. We can share an elevator. We're practically old friends. Get in. Come on,” she laughed coyly. It was now obvious she was flirting with him.
The Summoner stepped into the elevator. As the doors shut, he reached out and banged the back of her head hard into the elevator wall. She crumpled without a sound. Leaning down, he picked up her key card and keys and pocketed them. Tucking his hand under her hair to grasp her neck, he lifted her up so she was leaning against him. He could feel her heart beating against his chest. It was a delicious sound.