"Come on Old Man." Reilly teased Rhys. "You're being pokey."
"Cute." Rhys responded grumpily. Daylight was not his favorite hour, yet Reilly had insisted on them getting together today. "With you getting visitors at all hours of the night, I'm surprised you are so..." Rhys paused, searching for a word and finally settled on one. "...awake."
Reilly sat at the far edge of the counter, and Rhys sat down next to him.
"I sure imagined that this Healing business would be different than what it is. Who knew that most of the Camulodunum people would be quite happy to stay the way they are." Reilly shrugged. "The ones that want to be cured are the ones that find me."
Rhys yawned. "Yes, your Grandfather was quite vague on the particulars."
Reilly waved the mixologist over. "I doubt that my Grandfather was entirely sure of what would happen, despite his prophecies."
"Hello Guys." The Mixologist said with a flirty smile. "What can I do for you two handsome fellows?"
"Just an Iced Tea for me, thanks." Reilly answered her.
"With a kick?"
"Too early for that."
Rhys looked up at the mixologist, and while he found her attractive, he wasn't in a flirty mood. "A Plasma Orange Juice for me." The bartender left to get their drinks, and Rhys turned to find Reilly watching him. "What?" he asked irritably.
Reilly smiled slightly. "There was a day when you would have had her phone number and a kiss by the time she walked away."
Rhys grunted. "I'm just not interested."
Reilly shook his head. "I'm worried about you Rhys."
"Me?" Rhys feigned shock.
Before Reilly could say anything more, the Mixologist showed up with their drinks. She handed them out, and then stood there for a moment studying them, before finally asking, "Anything else?"
"No thank you." Reilly said politely. Rhys just ignored her. A bell dinged, signaling that another customer had arrived, she left to help him. Reilly took a sip of his tea. "It's strange living in a town where the bars are open 24/7. I hear rumors that they are merely a front for a gambling ring, but I haven't found the entrance yet. But back to you..."
"I'd rather talk about gambling rings." Rhys took a long drink.
Reilly snorted. "I'm sure you would." He sighed as he looked at his best friend. "I discovered the identity of our mystery guest."
"Really?" Rhys acted like he didn't care, but Reilly knew him too well to fall for the act.
"Yeah, turns out her full name is Bianca Monty, the youngest daughter of the Kingpin. You know, the family we should be careful around? She was probably sent over to spy on me." Reilly speculated. "I get stares wherever I go, and everyone is suspicious and jumpy. I get the feeling all is not well in Monte Vista. But I found out one other piece of news that might interest you."
Rhys shrugged. "Hit me with it." He took another drink.
"Rumor is that Bianca is knocked up." Reilly looked straight ahead as he said his bombshell. He didn't have to look at Rhys to know how this bit of news would affect him.
Rhys froze, staring into his drink.
"Rumor also has it, that Patrizio Monty is looking for information that will lead him to the baby's daddy. Bianca is his pride and joy Rhys. The apple of his eye! She was going to go to college in a few weeks!"
"Another child?" Rhys groaned. He saw flashes of his sour relationship with Olga fly by.
"This is going to be worse than the Corrine/ Olga debacle. Monty is..." Reilly sighed heavily.
"I know, I know." Rhys said glumly. "I have this habit of royally screwing up my life."
"Well, having an affair with a married Olga wasn't one of your better judgement moves." Reilly agreed. "Even though you act like you don't care, I know it hurts that she doesn't even acknowledge Corrine is yours."
"Any one with a brain could figure that out. Her husband is an idiot, and I don't understand why she chose him over me."
"I don't either." Reilly said honestly. "The man is a worm. But Monty is a whole other can of worms. You know I've been investigating him, and the more I find, the worse it is. Nothing I can pin to him yet. But I'll get him." Reilly vowed. Both of them were deep in their own thoughts for a while.
"What are you going to do?" Reilly finally asked.
"Do? I'm going to have a little talk with Monty, that's what I'm going to do."
Reilly groaned. "Are you out of your mind? Do you want to get yourself killed? Over a rumor?"
"Rumor? No," Rhys rejected that thought. "You wouldn't have told me if you thought it was rumor only. Bianca is carrying my child. I am determined to be a part of this child's life."
"You guys need anything?" the Mixologist interrupted.
No, we're fine." Reilly answered. He looked at her suspiciously, wondering how much she had overheard. "We'll let you know if we need something, really." He smiled politely.
Rhys was less than polite. "Woman, leave us the hell alone would you?" he snapped. "I'm not interested, neither is he. Go away." The Mixologist left in a huff. "I read her, she's harmless." Rhys answered Reilly's unspoken fear. "Annoying, but harmless."
"Hello! Yes, I'd like a menu, thank you." Reilly and Rhys both turned their heads at the sound of a familiar voice.
Reilly groaned as his father Kit sat down at the other end of the counter. "Seriously my Dad still thinks we are twelve years old and can't leave the house unsupervised!" Kit ordered the cheesy chili fries and soon struck up a conversation with the Mixologist.
"Well, at least he is keeping that girl busy." Rhys noted. Then he turned back to Reilly. "Reilly, tell me what you know about the Monty's."
"It isn't much yet." Reilly warned. "People don't like talking about them. The town's history was easy enough to find out, looking through the City Hall records. It was founded in the 400s BC, by Cassius Monty, of whom Patrizio is a direct descendant of. The not so easy stuff to find out is about Patrizio himself. I know that Patrizio owns most of Monte Vista under many different subdivisions of his main company, Simcatti Industries. The Criminal Underworld is vast in this little town, but Patrizio has so many people between him and their criminal activities it is impossible to tie him to any of it. But as sure as I am sitting here, he's the man running the show. He also offers his protection to business owners, if you don't take it, he takes you out, it's that simple. If you cross the man, you run a high risk of becoming food for the sharks."
"That should be a warning for you Coz as well." Rhys said. "You have a baby, and another on the way."
Reilly nodded. "I know. I adore my wife, but she is a bit flighty on these kinds of things, so I have talked to my Grandfather about getting some type of protection. He said he would send some Camulodunum Guardians to watch over her and the kids, they'll keep their distance though. She won't even know they are there unless they are needed."
Rhys stood up. "Good thinking."
Reilly hesitated, then said, "I also took the liberty of having a Guardian sent to keep watch over Corrine. You just never know, I wish there was a way to protect your other child that is on the way, but Bianca is in the Viper's nest."
"I appreciate it Reilly."
Rhys turned to leave and Reilly stood up. "Where are you going?"
"To face the Viper."
"I'm coming too, if you run into trouble I can throw a potion spell or..."
Rhys was shaking his head no. "No dice. The two of us going in will make him suspicious, especially since you are already on his radar. I go alone."
"You'll go into the house alone." Reilly agreed, "But I am still going to be nearby. If you run into trouble, just give me the signal and I'll be there."
Rhys smiled at Reilly. "Agreed."
"So Handsome, is the one with longer hair your son?" The Mixologist asked Kit as she took his empty plate.
"How did you guess that, uh, Jeanna wasn't it?"
She shrugged. "He looks just like you. You can call me Jena, all my friends do." she smiled flirtatiously at Kit.
"Have you seen much of our fair city?" she asked him.
"No, I've been busy." he told her.
"Well, if you ever want a guide, I'd be more than happy to show you the sights of this city. It is gorgeous, and filled with tons of history."
Kit looked up at Jena, amused. "A guide you say?"
"Absolutely. I'm paying my way through college, my major is History. I could tell you all kinds of things about this city."
Kit looked at her thoughtfully. "I bet you could, Jena. You know what?" Kit decided. "I think I'll take you up on that offer."
"Fabulous!" Jena exclaimed. "I get off from work in a few hours, how about you come back then, and I'll show you some of the night life of Monte Vista."
"It's a date."
She smiled at him as she echoed his words. "It's a date." Kit paid for his food and left her a generous tip before taking his leave. Jena pocketed the tip, and grabbed the phone as she went into another room for more privacy. The call was answered on the first ring. "No, neither one of them would bite." she told the person on the other end. "But I think I've got the father. We have a date tonight." She was quiet as she listened to the instructions being given. "Understood." She hung up the phone and grabbed a cigarette, she had to figure out where to take Kit on their little date.
Rhys was led straight into Patrizio's study to wait. Patrizio was not there yet, so Rhys took advantage of the computer sitting there on the desk and decided to do some hacking on his own.
He didn't have more than a couple of minutes however, before Patrizio showed up. He stood up as Patrizio entered the room. "Find anything interesting?" Patrizio asked with a cold smile.
Rhys shrugged. "Not particularly."
Patrizio said heatedly, "You have quite the balls, to sit at my desk, at my computer..."
Rhys laughed. "And what? Find out you like to play Solitaire? Please." He rolled his eyes. "I beat it." He pointed to the Solitaire game that was open, with the words *You Have Won* on the screen.
Patrizio looked at closely at the screen, then at Rhys, before guiding him away from the computer. "Come near my computer again, and I shall have to castrate you." Patrizio said pleasantly. "That is if I don't decide to castrate you now. You are the one responsible for getting my daughter pregnant, are you not?"
Rhys looked at his nails, and affected an unconcerned attitude. "I believe so."
"You believe so!?" Patrizio said angrily. "What are you implying about my daughter?"
"Absolutely nothing." Rhys said calmly. "Only that I just heard, through the grapevine, that she was pregnant. I have not heard that from her, " Rhys shrugged, "So I can't be sure."
"I can assure you, Mr. Van Gould, that my daughter is indeed pregnant. She has only been out of my sight for that one night, and it appears that she is not entirely trustworthy." He said grimly. "She will not be out of my sight again." Patrizio clasped his hands together. "So, now I have this little mess of hers to clean up. The question is, what would be the best way to clean it up?" Patrizio asked the question in a rhetorical manner, not expecting Rhys to answer.
"I'll marry her." Rhys said simply.
Patrizio laughed coldly. "Marry my daughter? Who do you think you are? You're nothing but pond scum, and unworthy of such a prize as my daughter."
Rhys smiled at Patrizio, making sure that he could see the glint of pointy teeth. "Mr. Monty, I was not asking your permission. I was stating a fact. I will marry Bianca, because she is expecting my child, and I will not be kept away from my child."
Patrizio's eyebrows rose in astonishment. "You dare speak that way to me? I could have your head on a platter in seconds, and no amount of Power," he sneered, " could ever heal you, Vampire."
"Good, you know what I am." Rhys told him calmly. "You know then, that when you are dead and cold in the ground, I'll still be around to dance on your grave."
Patrizio stared back at Rhys. "I know all about you Rhys Van Gould." Patrizio said frostily. "I know all about your Camulodunum heritage, that and of your cousin's Camulodunum lineage. I plan to make you two regret ever settling here."
Rhys laughed. "Was that a threat? If you know who we are, then you know what we are capable of. I'd say you'd best watch yourself around me, Monty."
"You are not the only one with...certain connections. But I see you need a little demonstration of my Power." Patrizio walked to the door and opened it. "Bianca!" he yelled. A few minutes later, a subdued Bianca walked into the room. "Is this the man?"
Bianca quickly glanced up at Rhys, then lowered his eyes just as quick. "Yes Papa." she said meekly.
"You will have no contact with him, is that understood?"
"Yes Papa." she said obediently.
Patrizio gripped Bianca's face with his hand. "Do not cross me girl."
"I understand Papa." Patrizio let her go. She left the room without looking at Rhys again.
"My daughter will do as I command. You can forget ever seeing your child." Patrizio snarled.
"Are you a gambling man?" Rhys asked him. The question threw Patrizio off. "I am." Rhys continued. "Obviously you fear the reprisals of harming either Reilly or myself, or you would have killed me instead of letting me into your home. I don't kill you for the simple fact, that I am a law abiding citizen, though I would dearly love to kill you." Rhys smiled at Patrizio with a feral gleam in his eye. "I propose we settle this with a game of chance. I hear rumors that there are Gambling dens in this City. I'm sure you know of their location."
Patrizio laughed. "You expect me to admit to Gambling dens? And even more than that, to participate in an illegal activity?"
"Send a lackey, I don't care." Rhys shrugged. "If I win, I get access to my child, whenever I want. You will also let Bianca make her own choice in regards to me."
"And if I win?"
"If you win, I'll be your lackey. Either way, I will get to see my child."
Patrizio studied Rhys. "You would betray your cousin at my command?"
"I don't plan on losing."
Patrizio chuckled. "You should never bet against the House, but I will take your bet. I could use someone of your...talents."
Rhys took a deep breath of fresh air once he reached outside. Reilly waited until Rhys was clear of the house before joining him. "So, how did it go?"
"As well as can be expected." Rhys answered him. "He knows something about Camulodunum, and he even seems to have some connection to it. I couldn't read his mind, he has some sort of block that I have never encountered before." Rhys frowned. "I got him to agree to a little game of chance though, where if I win he'll let me court Bianca and I get to see my child whenever I want."
"And if you lose."
"I promised I'd be his lackey, and do his bidding."
"Are you crazy?"
Rhys shrugged. "I'm not going to lose, Reilly, so no worries."
"No worries!" Reilly grumbled. "You have lost your mind, and that is plenty to worry about."
"Oh, I also had a chance to peek at his computer, and due to my excellent memory, I have some addresses for you to check out. I don't know anything about them, but it'll be a good starting point for you." Reilly stopped walking and stared at Rhys. Rhys stopped and looked back at Reilly. "What?"
Reilly was stunned. "You hacked into Monty's computer?"
"Of course. We've got each other's back, right?"
"Always." Reilly replied.
Challenge Notes--so apparently when I packed up all the sims I wanted to save from MF and moved them to MV, Olga was pregnant from the one time she did a Risky with Rhys. I was quite surprised when I got the pop up that Rhys was now a father. lol She is married though---and happily. Her hubby doesn't compare to Rhys at all! :)
With my MF save dying on me, I sort of spaced where I was going with my Healer thing---that got dropped a bit. So I kind of touch on it---it wasn't meant to be a curse broken for all, but only for those who no longer wanted to be werewolves. They could now be cured, whereas before they didn't have the option. I decided though, that after all those years living that way, the majority would probably want to stay the way they are.
As to Patrizio's connection to Camulodunum, that will come up later. :)
I'll post more pics of kidlets next chapter---