A white marble Grecian temple rose from the fervent green rolling hills dotted with a variety of Arabian horses. The tall, black iron double gates swung open to receive the high strung golden sports car, it was easy to see the long driveway that extended into the maw of the Grecian temple was really the famed estate of Bronte, Lara’s friend.
Two eyes studied the roadway as the car proceeded along its cobbled stones. By now, some might say he could have blindfolded himself, and his car would have known the way to the manor without his steering. Gavin Kalver was a stern man who had the reputation of always obtaining what he wanted. No matter which means he implemented. His narrow face, actually gaunt face, drew into a serious, furrowed brow expression. What he called lips, two parallel lines, spread across his sharp-angled face like a tight thread. As his car drew near to the Greek manor, his eyes ice blue eyes narrowed in thought, or would it be anticipation.
He pulled up by a three-tiered fountain that spurted gallons of water out the top and cascaded the clear blue liquid over its marble edges. The water sounded like a stream when the water rushes over large rocks. It gave a calming effect, which Gavin didn’t wish to experience, in fact, he was obviously in a hurry to get inside the home and speak to his friend Bronte.
He walked up the two levels of steps and his wingtips slapped the fine marble stairs with a sound of boasting wealth. Nothing the man wore was less than a small fortune, only the best he bragged to everyone he knew. He knew everyone with power. Some say he owned half the world, and what he didn’t own he was about to. His slender age marked hand rang the doorbell of the tall, arched heavy oak door. A small man, with grey hair clad in a butlers uniform, answered. He pulled the thick door open and smiled.
‘Mr. Kalver, right this way, sir.’
The elderly man turned and proceeded to escort the serious man to where Bronte was. Down a hall flanked by family portraits and the occasional door into an unknown room walked Gavin. The study was at the end of the long hallway, and that door was marked by an unusual golden symbol. Brilliant, and sparkling it drew his vision toward it like a neon sign under the soft light of the wall sconces on either side of the door.
He hesitated before he turned the brass knob and stepped into the study.
‘Ah, Gavin, sit down and have some port!’ said Bronte with a sharp smile.
Gavin ambled to the mahogany chair that sat in front of the desk Bronte was sitting at. The ceiling of this large room was domed and glass. The walls were white Italian marble. The floor was the same marble and adorned with an enormous area rug! Of course, all the walls were covered in shelves of books from top to bottom. Rows and rows like a library. There were thousands.
Gavin’s eyes burned into Bronte, and he turned his to meet his glare.
‘So, Bronte, did you learn anymore?’
Quizzical eyes narrowed and turned from ice blue to grey, and his slender fingers pushed back his long white-blond hair, causing it to spill down his back.
‘Not enough for the time being.’
Gavin grew silent, amidst the butler setting a glass of port upon the desk next to his hand, which balled into a fist.
‘So I would dig for more, Bronte. Remember who your boss is. I could take this estate away from you in a blink of an eye!’ Gavin’s thin face grew red with rage.
‘Could you?’ Bronte lowered his eyes to the book he was reading before Gavin interrupted.
‘In a second!’ said the shrewd man.
‘Do you know where it is? I’ve seen a picture, a blurry one from a mission. The quality was poor, but I did see something. What it represented was beyond me, though.’ Gavin swept his line of vision over Bronte as if surveying his every thought.
‘No I don’t know the location. I believe she destroyed it.’
‘Hmm – just as mysterious as the symbol on the door.’
Bronte’s eyes flashed with some underlying reason with the mere mention of the object. He stood from his seat and shot a cold glare back at Gavin.
‘What do you know about the symbol, Gavin?’ he asked with a harsh storm that escaped his lips.
‘Nothing. I only mentioned it, because, I have catalogued many symbols from so many civilizations I have lost count, and that one is something I have never seen, or maybe I have, but I am not too sure where.’
A calm flooded Bronte’s face, the corners of his mouth relaxed allowing his lips to form their natural fullness. He sighed what appeared to be from relief. He also passed his hand over his chest feeling the smooth silk shirt under his palm, but he was actually making sure his pendant was still in place he wore daily around his neck and the large golden disc rested against his chest. He smiled as he felt its subtle curves beneath his cloths.
‘You don’t let go of things easily, Gavin, but sometimes there is not a story of profound mystery behind something. Like the twisted symbol on the door could have been just a twisted piece of metal and nothing more.’
Gavin bit his lower lip and narrowed his eyes. ‘You know me, Bronte, I never give up. I never stop until I have it in my hand until I discover what and where it is!’
Bronte found his words unsettling. Gavin’s gaunt, narrow face reminded him of a wild dog sniffing in every corner to find its quarry.
‘Yes, I know how you are, but she destroyed the object. She told me.’
‘How do you know she told you the truth?’
‘Why not? It was damaged, she shot it, even if she has it now. I feel she didn’t tell me a story. The Scion is gone!’
Gavin took in a deep breath; he stood from his chair and loomed down at Bronte.
‘Do you know how much power it holds? Do you know how the legends speak about the Scion? I could be a god with that power. The world would bow to me!’
Well, these words were truly from the lips of a true megalomaniac. Bronte believed Lara was convinced she destroyed the Scion when she confronted Natla on that Island. Her stories were honest. He would know if she didn’t tell the truth.
‘You need to let go of the notion it is still around. It was blown to smithereens when she shot it. Do you know the story about what she went through to obtain each piece? You would be dealing with creatures beyond your control, Gavin, and they are nothing you could even imagine. Natla created them; she was powerful; I guarantee if she is still breathing, she will find Lara and seek revenge. Natla, unfortunately, is evil personified. I was told that the hammer of Thor killed Natla, but her body has never been found. Lara sent a team out to find her. They scoured the area with the coordinates she supplied. They found nothing. However, there was a lot of thick ice, and debris as if an explosion occurred earlier. It must have been a result of what Lara had to do in order to escape.’
‘Why didn’t she accompany them?’
‘That is the thing about this, Gavin. She is fragile, her mother is gone, dead, and after this last mission, she felt she lost her forever. She held onto a hope to find her in the past. But cruel Natla told Lara some traumatic things in the underworld where she thought she found her mother. Lara has been tortured by memories and the feeling of not saving her sooner. She would have fallen apart and been no good to the team if she would have gone. Gavin, I fear for her sanity.’
Like a wolf plots its attack, Gavin appeared to have no interest in Lara’s feelings.
‘That is the price you pay in the artefact business. Next time she will know better!’
Bronte’s ice-blue eyes widened with his words.
‘True a very large price to pay. She needs rest, though. Come to me if you need information. She will not trust to speak with you about this anyway.’
‘Do you know everything she went through? Did she tell you everything about her missions with Natla? You appear to have so much knowledge about everything, as if you were there beside her while she foraged through each step.’
‘There were discussions between us. I’ve been speaking with her about everything. It is my job as her analyst. You know this, Gavin!’
‘Yes, I do, I also know you want the item as much as me! Wouldn’t you love to be able to do anything at any moment that pops into your mind? The Scion can offer this. We must find it.’
‘Some go bad with that much power.’
Bronte’s far away stare was as if he was remembering something. His focus was off in another world.
Gavin only responded with a crooked smile. An unsettling sharp calculating smile as if Bronte found him out.