A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #28546  by Michelle La Fratta
Location: Michelle's villa, Lake Como • Date: Saturday, 12 July 2003

The sun was setting over the tree tops surrounding Lake Como. Boats passed as people returned to their docks and have dinner. Michelle sat on the large patio in front of the guest house. Evaline had just served her some coffee while Heloise finished dinner inside. It was strange having another housekeeper around, but the young woman was nice enough. She was younger than her charge and the head maid and it showed in her face when Michelle spoke to her. She had had much more formal training in a household and Michelle could tell that her relaxed banter with Evaline was extremely out of the ordinary.

A slight breeze came through, rustling the leaves and the ends of Michelle's hair. A pile of papers rested in her lap as she went through finishing touches for the annual summer party at her father's villa. Hadrian was due back soon. She was growing impatient; hopefully he had more news this time.
 #28549  by Hadrian De Palma
Hadrian rode the charmed Vespa up the driveway to the villa. He didn't know why Michelle liked driving these things; being on a charmed vehicle was frightening enough. The Vespa drove into the garage once Hadrian climbed off his seat and headed inside. He could smell dinner cooking which was a relief. Hadrian was starving. But first he needed to report to Michelle. He asked Heloise and Evaline where the lady of the house was; they pointed to the guest house.

He followed the smell of cigarette smoke to Michelle on the patio. "Signorina," Hadrian said formally. He didn't have good news.
 #28551  by Michelle La Fratta
Michelle looked up when Hadrian entered her field of vision. She opened her mouth to ask him how his search had gone, but his face spoke a thousand words. It'd been the same look he'd given her for two weeks straight.

"Nothing?" she asked, sitting flat against the lounge chair again.
 #28552  by Hadrian De Palma
"Nothing," Hadrian confirmed.

"There's no way we're going to find information in Odessa. Even though she's dead, everyone is so tight-lipped. Even people whom now report to you. We might have to start looking at other possible connections she had in other countries. Florenta probably wasn't her only alias."
 #28554  by Michelle La Fratta
"Shit," Michelle hissed through her teeth. She took a long drag of her cigarette. Luca said that as far as he knew, no one from Romania had laid claim to finally killing Viktoriya. And apparently no one else was singing from the rooftops. Who was staying so quiet? Were they afraid of retribution?

Did Michelle need to be afraid of this specter?

"What if this is another smoke and mirrors move?" she asked him. "She faked death before. Do you think she's a one-trick thestral?"