The sun descends behind buildings, the orange street lights click on one after another; the warm night calls to visitors to stay out, walking beside the river, talking, laughing, kissing in the orange pools of light. Giovanni humphs and pushes passed the many happy couples and families on the walkway, making his way to Rose’s as the city clock chimes out seven times. He glances to the sky as though that is where the noise came from but pushes on, crossing the street and shoving open the door and glaring at the other shoppers till they flee with purchase. When the store is empty Giovanni locks the door and flips the closed sign “What did you want to show me?” Edward swallows thickly and pulls out a few photos, laying them on the counter between them. One is of Alexis, the other Giovanni assumes- his house, and then a girl, presumably Lily. “This is it?”
“This first one is-”
“Alexis and I have dealt with each other before.” Edward looks at him, clearly curious. “Is that his house?”
“Ah, yes, it’s 1221 North Broadmoore Drive.” The other man nods, mentally taking down the address. “And this last one is my daughter, Lily.” Giovanni takes the picture of Lily and looks at it closely.
“She’s lovely, why did Alexis take her?” Ed shrugs and watches the man set the picture down.
“I borrowed money from him.” Giovanni nods, knowing the outcome of when mortals tangle with someone who cannot die with a blood lust that can barely be satisfied most nights.
“Then you must be stupid.” He sighs pushing away from the counter.
“Excuse me?” Edward demands, shocked.
“Only an idiot borrows money from a mad man.”
“Mad man? The Howard family built this town, they helped us rebuild in our time of need, and we as a town mourned when his mother and father died. He and his family has been kind to us, so I don’t know what you mean by mad man.” Giovanni stares at Edward for a moment before giving him a smile.
“Oh, perhaps I’m thinking of a different rich man named Alexis Howard with blond hair and emerald eyes. That could always be a possibility. What way do I need to go to reach his home?” Edward clears his throat and points to the door, confused the raven haired man turns and makes a soft ‘oh’ upon seeing Alexis outside. “Well, speak of the devil and he shall appear, I guess.”
“Let me in.” His voice carries through the glass and Giovanni, against Edward’s will, unlocks the door, letting the man in. “Well thank you, Gio. What brings you to Rose’s?”
“Just meeting a friend of a friend.” His smile is forced. “I was on my way to see you.”
“Me, again? What have I done to catch your eye this time?” Edward stood there, seemingly forgotten by the two.
“What can I say?” Giovanni shrugged “Its hard to forget a man like you.”
“I’d say, we did have fun.”
“Yes, we did. Before this gets out of hand though, this is business. I’m looking for Lily, and everyone seems to think you have her.”
“She is a lovely girl isn’t she?”
“Don’t change the topic. Do you have her?”
“If I told you then where would the fun be.”
“Why did you take her?”
“Who says I have her?”
“Enough!” Edward cuts in “Give me back my daughter, you fiend.”
“Give me back my money, and maybe I’ll assist dear Giovanni here with his investigation.” Giovanni rolls his eyes.
“Don’t get in my way, Alexis. I will bury you, I have the paperwork to do it.” He steps closer, seeking to intimidate the man, the blond smirks and leans close to his ear before whispering.
“You don’t have the heart to end me, Gio. Just as I don’t have the heart to end you.” The blond pulls away and looks at Edward. “Two weeks, Edward. Two weeks.” The blond turns on his heels and walks out, climbing into his car. Giovanni sighs and looks at Edward.
“Do you have a car? I don’t feel like walking to the b’n’b.” Edward nods.
“It’s at home.”
“Go get it, I’ll wait here.” Edward nods again and ushers him out before setting the alarm and locking the door. He begins the quick walk home while Giovanni looks around, not seeing anyone in the immediate area. He goes to the back door and easily forces the lock before going to the pin pad, he stares at it for a moment before closing his eyes, memory of Edward setting flashes into his mind and he does his best to copy the movement, thankfully entering the right code. With little time left he goes to Edward’s off and raids his desk, file cabinets, and loose paper before finding what he needed. A letter, from Alexis to Edward; he pockets it, sets the alarm and closes the back door, getting to the front of the store just as Edward returns.
The car ride is silent with Giovanni just mumbling directions then climbing out and going inside without so much as a thank you. When the car pulled away Giovanni sat at the small desk provided and pulls the letter out of his pocket. He opens it, his eyes scanning the text. “Edward, two weeks, $15,685 in full.” followed by a gap where he assumed a picture of Lily might have been with “She is so lovely, I hope to return her but it will be your loss if I cannot.” He sighed and leaned back, exhaling slowly. He looks to the note pad he brought with just on the off chance he needed to write the Order, but shook his head. There will be no interventions from them this time around.