Vivian hung up her cell phone, returning to the black metal table in front of the small coffee shop at the Third Street corner of the Bastion mall.
“Sorry about that.” She said, resuming her place at the boutique patio. “No rest for the wicked.”
“Don’t worry, sweetheart.” Said Scarlett, gently sipping a cup of coffee. “I have no idea how hard things must be leading this group right about now.”
Vivian let out a sigh of agreement as she drew back her cup.
“I gotta admit.” Scarlett said. “I really admire all the work you’ve been putting into finding Mallory. I know the two of you weren’t always on the best terms.”
“Understatement of the year.” Vivian laughed. “Remember the debutante parties?”
Scarlett smiled. “I remember you falling asleep in the back hall at the manor.” She laughed.
“What, I was twelve and my mother introduced me to the French ambassador. That guy was a drag.” She said, stretching out the last word.
“Tell me about it.” Scarlett agreed. “It was just like you were in boarding school all over again.”
Vivian laughed, shaking as she leaned into the table. “Was anyone awake through Miss Victoria’s lectures?”
“You sure weren’t.” She said. “Although all those late nights we stayed up in college didn’t help.”
Vivian smiled. “No, I guess not.
“…Thank you – For everything, Scarlett.”
“Hm?” Scarlett looked up.
“…Things have been really hard since Azrael came into the picture.” She said. “That and the power transitions, Mallory’s disappearance amid all her projects… I worry that some of the other agents don’t have much faith in me.”
“You’re doing fine.” She said. “It’s a lot to go through.”
“Well I appreciate how much help you’ve been through the years.” Vivian said. “I was raised to do this. I took so long to get here.”
“Mallory was right to choose you.” She said. “You’ll do great things with the organization.”
“I hope so.” Vivian said. “I hope so…”