Patricia tried not to glare at Gammon, uncomfortable as she was with a stake through her chest and lying on a cold medical table in some nameless warehouse. Gammon was toying with her straight razor, plucked from her pocket during their journey. Trish thought this attempt at sarcasm was juvenile, but realized she needed to keep her temper.

"Poor Patricia." Gammon smiled in the smug way that Trish found infuriating. "Iím making a point. Never trust a Settite."

Point taken. Patricia quietly seethed.

Gammon was enjoying himself immensely. This Malkavian had been alternately confiding in him and patronizing him during their brief acquaintance, and he was glad for the chance to show how easy it was for him to gain the upper hand. He hoped it was a lesson she wouldnít soon forget.

"I donít think I could safely unstake you." Gammon leaped atop the medical table, landing both feet squarely on either side of Trish. "So if you want to talk to me, just use that little telepathy trick of yours and Iíll hear you." Trish looked up at him and wondered what drove him to such childish behavior, but kept those questions to herself. A moment passed. "Let me guess, you donít like me hovering over you like this. Donít worry," he assured her. "I donít bite." Gammon jumped down and sat upon nearby pile of dusty shipping palates and waited for a moment. Trish maintained her silence.

"I could have killed you." he grinned, tapping on protruding stake. "But I havenít. Want to guess why?"

Patricia sighed inwardly and smothered her anger. "You overheard my conversation with Martin and Sarah, you already told me that. You want in. Killing me wouldnít help your negotiating position." She wondered how much of her own mental state she could hide from this pesky Settite. I hope I can hide a lot...

"How superficial you think I am. I have already told you my goals. The Tremere are my priority, the other is but a side note. How do you think I am supposed to get rid of them? I need help." Patricia allowed herself a moment of relief. She had been doubting she would survive the evening, but if Gammon needed her help... "I have no love lost for those clumsy butchers, except the beauty, she must stay alive for I think she is ripe for corrupting."

Oh, is that all you think sheís ripe for? I find that hard to believe. Patricia watched him clicking his long fingernails along the exposed razor blade and wondered if it was indicative of some compulsive behavior.

"So you want them dead? No problem, weíre already working on that." Patricia snapped.

"Oh, I want more than that, Patricia. I want a little bit of blood from all of them." He had plans for that vitae.

Patricia tried to shrug, but even that small movement was beyond her. "I donít see what good it will do you. Sure. Iím not exactly in a position to argue."

"Precisely my point. You also owe me a life boon and just to ensure you wonít go back on that, Iíll need a bit of insurance." Grinning, he cut a button from Trishís shirt collar and tapped her neck with the cool blade for several moments. With a sudden whirl and hiss, he slashed her left wrist through her shirt sleeve. Gammon caught her blood as it flowed off the table in a golden goblet that he seemed to be carrying for just such an occasion.

Patriciaís expression hardened. A goblet, yet. She almost growled. This idiot has more gestures that a Toreador! If she could have moved, she would have frenzied, and her anger increased at her untenable position. There goes my haven, she realized bitterly.

Unbidden, a memory of another "assurance of behavior" came to her mind. Gammon paused for a moment and regarded her quizzically. "Whoís Michael?" he asked curiously.

Trish ground her teeth and resolved to keep a tighter rein on her thoughts. "No-one you need to know about." she replied curtly.

Oh really? Gammon thought, always looking for exploitable weaknesses. That might bear investigation.

Patricia resisted the urge to rage at her captor. She wanted to get free, make some calls and make her plans to remove Gammon as soon as she could. For the time being, she would tell him what he wanted to hear.

"Now, youíre not going to tell anyone about Jesse, are you? Itís much easier for me to move around disguised as an Aboriginal hick."

Another mental shrug. "Why should I?"

"Because I told you not to." Gammon frowned. "Does anybody but you know about my clan?" This worried him. He knew as well as any other how unwelcome Settites were, and public knowledge of his clan would considerably delay his plans.

Patricia decided that she should tell the truth for the moment, as it was one lie that could be found out too easily. "Sarah knows what you are. I think the fact just sort of slipped out while I was talking to her." Trish tried to sound contrite.

"Hm." Gammon quickly considered his options. "Well, I suppose that canít be helped, but let me explain something to you. Martin is one we both want and you know, you cannot count on Sarah to help you when the time comes. You canít do it yourself. You need me."

The hell I do, Trish thought furiously, youíre not here by my choice. Iím certainly not here by mine. "I suppose I do." she replied truculently.

"Very good, Patricia." If she had been able to speak aloud, she would be screaming her fury. This was just too much. He was almost as bad as Michael. At least she knew how to handle him. Previous experience would pay off.

"Iím not going to Bond you to me. Even though the thought had crossed my mind." Gammon informed her. "But I remembered during our drive over here something you had said about loathing those who enforced Bonds upon others. You should be grateful."

"Of course Iím grateful, Gammon." Although it nearly choked her, she continued her submissive tone. "Iím very glad." That much was true in itís way. I wonder how those golden eyes will work when theyíre ripped out!

Gammon glanced at her sideways, a reptilian pose. "I can tell youíre angry, Trish. But you are not my prey. If you were, you would end up like Green, and you see how long he lasted around me."

What the hell does he mean by that? The hunters got Green. If this whelp managed to take a Tremere, Iíll drink his blood willingly!

"I have the advantage, here." Gammon emphasized.

"Of course, Gammon." Patricia repeated. For now.

"So what do you think, Patricia? The little-known Settite managing to bag the big bad Trish." he boasted.

Here we go...Patricia marshaled her rhetoric and honeyed her thoughts. "I must admit Iím very impressed." she soothed him. That was at least partially true. "But, remember, Iím not known for my good sense." That was quite true, and she had plans for those who fostered that fallacious belief. "But still, Iíve told you before that I admire your..." she thought of an appropriately flattering adjective. "Talents. This only goes to prove that my initial assessment was correct" she concluded. That youíre a treacherous worm to be used and thrown away! She didnít add.

"Letís get something straight, Patricia." Gammon spat, suddenly angry. "I donít want your submission, I want your obedience and you can stop your patronizing tone because itís fucking pissing me off! Do you understand me?"

A moment of fury was closely followed by the urge to laugh out loud. This paralysis does have itís advantages. Trish stifled any humorous thoughts. I struck something there, she realized.

"A statement of fact cannot be insolent." Trish replies in as flat a tone as she could manage. She knew that pushing him could be hazardous, but she gambled on the fact that he needed her.

Gammon slapped her viciously and glared at her. Well, I guess he does need me. Patricia winced at the pain.

Gammon resumed his earlier perch over Trish. She resisted the urge to shout out Okay, Iíve got the point, youíre bigger than me! Get over it...

"You donít seem to understand, you and I are more alike than you think. We were both part of an experiment. The way you move, the way you act is almost robotic, it must have something to do with this Michael. Does it?"

"Experiment?" She asked. "Robotic?" Trish decided that Gammon was off on some personal rant and decided not to interfere, even though she didnít want to hear it. And what the hell does he think he knows about Michael?

"Donít you see? You and me are the product of someone elseís dream. We were not always cold hearted killers. I was once a man. Then I was transformed into this, a tool of death always running from what I feared." Oh, here we go...Patricia sighed. "This was before my awakening. Then I embraced it and came to terms with what I am. You have not and that saddens me. Whoever did this to you is worth meeting. Then killing."

Oh boy, what a great bargain. Didnít I have this conversation with Kim three years ago? Patriciaís anger had now faded into a great weariness.

"Iím afraid itís too late for that." Trish replied wryly.

Gammon gave her a long look, eyebrows raised. "Things die hard." he told her cryptically. "You seem to have big plans, Trish, and so do I."

Patricia spared him her reaction. What a shame that you wonít see your plans enacted. She decided. I have no use for traitors who move against me.

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