In Pursuit of Mr. Sands Part 7: A KDG Consortium Story

Mondays are always happier when they start with a cheeky little read, and nobody is cheekier than Mr. Sands. Unless it’s Elise North.  Today is the seventh instalment of In Pursuit of Mr. Sands.  As I said,  I’ve been in pursuit of Mr. Sands for quite some time now, and somehow he always manages to elude me. And surprise me. Just recently he made another titillating appearance, only to lead me on a merry chase. I lost him in North Africa somewhere and ended up recovering in Delphi, where I met up with some unexpected acquaintances. (More on that to come. )Never mind. There are worse places to end up, and I’m sure Mr. Sands will raise his oh so fascinating head again when I least expect him.

But for now, Elise finds Mr. Sands hanging out in Soho, not doing what she expected him to do.

If you missed the last instalment of Mr. Sandscatch up with this link.


In Pursuit of Mr. Sands Part 7: The Note

It was the sun streaming through the bedroom window that woke me up the next morning, or rather it was early afternoon. I opened my eyes and looked around me, stretching and yawning. For the first time in a long time I actually felt rested. There had been no dreams, no night terrors, there had been no waking in the night wondering where the hell I was. I knew exactly where I was, and I knew that I had not dreamed what had happened last night – none of it.

I woke clear-headed, as I had trained myself to do years ago when I realized that my gift could either be used to my benefit, or it could get me killed. There had been plenty of times when it could have easily gone either way. But the worst, by far, had been when Dru had been possessed by the demon. I barely survived the experience, and Dru did not. Since then, I had lived a cautious half-life, not really sure if I even wanted to live, but very certain I did not want to die at the hands of a demon or anything else that went bump in the night. And I certainly had no desire to end it myself. So I had carried on. Losing myself in my work seemed to be the only thing that kept me from my own dark thoughts. And then Mr. Sands had come along, Mr. Sands, who was no longer in my bed.

I threw back the duvet to find that I was still fully dressed. But we’d not needed to lose our clothes last night, had we? My heart raced as I recalled our encounter, as I recalled Dru’s visit, Dru saying that Mr. Sands had actually sent him. I was out of bed and racing to the lounge, where everything was pretty much exactly as I had left it before I let Mr. Sands in, empty pizza box, multiple coffee cups and a half-eaten bagel. That is everything, but the fact that I knew I was alone.  I wasn’t just alone in the flat, I no longer had a neighbor I was tailing. Mr. Sands was gone. I could feel it, as I always felt the absence of magic that was somehow like ambient noise in my life. I had learned to ignore the tiny little bit that barely buzzed in all humans, but someone like Mr. Sands, well his magic felt a bit like the neighbor who always had his music up just a little too loud. Only in Sand’s case, it was nice music, music I wanted to hum along to, and this morning it was gone.

I stood for a long time staring out the window across to his flat where I could see the cleaners at work. I won’t deny that I was disappointed to find him gone, to have lost the man I was supposed to be tailing, but then again, he had been my job, and I had crossed the line last night in a way I never did, never had before. I knew myself well enough to know that if he’d stayed, it wouldn’t have gotten any easier to keep my distance. Still going over in my head all that had happened last night and wondering how to best edit it in my report to Magda Gardener, I made myself a cup of coffee and turn to find a note on the kitchen table.

Dearest Ms. North,

While it saddens me deeply and makes me feel rather cowardly to bolt in the middle of the night after our delicious, and meaningful encounter, I fear that to remain would do neither of us any good. I believe we have both lived our lives with a great deal of control, and that control has kept us both safe. Last night we both lost that control, and while I do not, nor could I ever, regret our time together, I am not so naïve as to believe either of us would benefit from pursuing it further.

I have hidden nothing from you, dear woman, and I am well aware that your job is to find out all you can about me. I have certainly revealed far more of myself than I have to any other equal in my long existence. In fact, I have delighted in revealing myself to you, and I will take a great deal of pleasure in fantasizing about you sharing what you’ve learned from our encounter. I wish you well, Ms. North, dear Elise, and I would ask that you make no attempt to follow me. While you, if anyone, might be able to trail me, I do not think it would be advisable for either of our good. Let me just say, that I have made the Redeye flight from New York to London many times, but never has that journey ended with such delights as this one has. Thank you, dear Elise. May you find what you have lost.

With deepest respect,

Daniel Sands

I toasted a bagel and sat at the kitchen table while I read over Mr. Sands’ note again and thought about what to tell Magda Gardener. I had a feeling the woman would be delighted with what had happened last night. I would have felt offended at her tossing me into this little experiment without my know it if I hadn’t enjoyed it so much, if I hadn’t been well rewarded for the experience. And yet, it was personal. While I suspected she knew about what had happened with Dru and the demon, which in itself made me nervous that she knew so much about me, I still didn’t want to have a girlie chat about last night’s encounter with a woman who I’d never met and wasn’t really sure I wanted to. Without giving myself time to think, I picked up the phone and pulled up Magda Gardener’s number. She answered on the first ring.

“I lost him,” I said without even a greeting.

“I wondered how long it would take.” She spoke as though it didn’t surprise her in the least. “What happened?”

When I didn’t immediately reply, she waited a moment longer, almost long enough for me to think the connection had been broken before she replied. “Ah. You had sex.”

“No! No, we didn’t. Not exactly.”

“Semantics.” She sounded neither surprised of angry. “Tell me, Elise, did you not suspect it might happen?”

“I’ll give you a full analysis in my report.” I managed.

“I’m asking you now, did you suspect it? Hope for it?”

And then I twigged. “It doesn’t matter if I did. You did, didn’t you?”

“When you’ve been around as long as I have, gaming situations out is as automatic as breathing. I couldn’t imagine either of you not being far too curious to at least see what would happen.” Then she added quickly. “Oh don’t worry about your job. I’d already told you that a part of your job was to see what happened when an incubus was confronted with someone he could not affect, when you could encounter someone as powerful as an incubus without ending up his lunch.”

“I’m not a specimen to be observed, Ms. Gardener,” I bristled.

“No, you’re not, but you are the only person in the world I know of who can observe from the outside and walk away unscathed.”

I laughed. “I don’t walk away unscathed, Ms. Gardener, not even close.”

There was another long pause. “No, you don’t do you?” There was another pause. “The flat is yours until the end of the week. Finish up your report, tie up any loose ends you need to. Don’t leave out anything no matter how uncomfortable.”

I forced a laugh. “What, you want a blow by blow?”

“I do, Ms. North. That’s what I’m paying you for, and no, I don’t get off on your sex life, but right now, you can’t easily imagine how important those details might be down the road.”

Down the road. I didn’t quite know why those word sent a chill down my spine, but I shuddered.

Thank you, Elise, for another job well done. Oh, and do take some time to enjoy London. It would be a pity to missed out on such a lovely city.” She disconnected, leaving me sitting there staring at the phone.


Leave a Reply