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Sand, Stilled

#18147
A clock noted the passing of time as Artemis sat opposite her grandmother, each tick extending into an eternity as they sat in silence.

"Dubai was a dead end," she said after countless seconds. "I triple-checked the vampire's records, he has not been there since early in the spring, and the racer he was sleeping with is still there and is quite worried about his whereabouts as well."

Artemis sighed.

"Wherever he has gone, there appears to be no one he felt compelled to inform."

Isidora Metaxas glanced at the clock, and the ticking silenced.

"We are approaching our largest harvest of the year, and our director of operations has been missing for more than a season. He cannot have simply vanished. What of the assassin's girl, the one he had reviewing accounts?"

Artemis shook her head.

"There has been no communication between them, and she is struggling with her own missing person."

"Who is that?" the matron asked?

"Her husband. He was visiting the Americas and has yet to return."

"And we are certain they have not conspired together to kill her husband? The assassins are a cold lot, and I would not put it past the girl to end her marriage violently."

"There is no evidence of that," Artemis stressed, though she was careful to keep her tone respectful. "He is not with the Katoracovs, nor is he in Constanta or Bucharest. If he is in Romania, he is not with any of the acquaintances that I know of."

The silence remained, and Artemis felt the need to hear the clock tick once more, felt the heaviness of the moment weighing down on her.

"The mafioso's daughter, then."

"There is no trace of him in Milan, Compiegne, Paris, Manchester, or London for several months. I can tell you every woman he has shared a bed with in the past five years, Grandmother, and he has been as absent from their lives as he is from ours."

A glance at the clock showed the second hand wavering.

"I can take his place, as I did before."

Tick.

"No."

Tock. Tick. Tock.

"Check his contacts again. Find out what you have missed."