“No barrier.” Beka said.
“I was concerned,” Steopa said. “There are rumors about him... I wanted you safe.”
A breeze picked up and blew the leaves on the trees and the bushes. The smell of rain filled the air as a sharp crack of thunder broke above them. Lighting flashed, the bolt hit just over the horizon. Shadows moved along the ground, following the strong gusts of wind. Beka could feel that someone was watching her.
The shadows swirled ahead of them and solidified. A man stepped into the light. Beka saw his eyes first, crystal blue. He nodded at Steopa.
“My name is Ogden,” he said, in a crisp British accent. “What brings you to my home?”
“I am Steopa, this is Rebecka,” Steopa said. “We are here to ask for your permission.”
“To hunt?” Ogden asked. “I don't normally give out that kind of permission.”
“No, to find someone, another vampire.”
“Well, then I don't have to give you permission, because I am the only one here.”
Beka watched them. They were pleasant to each other, yet Beka could feel tension building. Steopa muscles twitched under his clothes. He stood straight, exaggerating his height. Ogden adjusted his tailored jacket and pulled himself up to his full height. He stood as tall as Rebecka, but he seemed to look his nose at Steopa.
They eyed each other, like a bear staring down a tiger, waiting to see who would blink first. Ogden had his hand on his cane, held out at a slight angle. It was like a Mexican standoff, conducted by Miss Manners.