"Of course you would've," she said, genteel smile not unlike a parent or older sibling humoring a small child. Aeon frequently regarded her with the same tone.
And yet as they arrived at her reason for seeking him, for the first time the young immortal faltered. Only briefly before returning to the calculated poise of her collective pedigree.
It felt silly, when she finally faced it directly. Stupid. All that time existing as a vague, undefined impulse driving her behavior. Like an animal's hunger upon waking. The tigress didn't think about her hunger. It just was. But the words, the human concepts forcing her to confront the impulse head-on...It just felt silly.
"I wanted to talk legacies. I heard of your father"—and I thought maybe you could relate—"and I wanted to see if you were anything like him. Fortunately, I noticed that you avoided attacking me in the mountains—if you had then this meeting would've gone differently, and would have been much shorter." At that her fangs gleamed. Then, sincerely, "I do appreciate your taking care, honestly. My preliminary evaluation of your character is not so bad, especially considering its single-blind nature up til now. Which is why I'm speaking candidly with and, depending on how everything goes, we may come out of this as trusty acquaintances if not good friends."
"Ah, gotta be the eyes, hm? Probably not many like them in the world," she said, turning slightly so that he might notice their faint ethereal glow. "I'm very proud of them, so I can't always bring myself to change them.
"But the point of us meeting is not to dote over my eyes. Although you may feel free to do so later." She winked.Her smirk was more predator than charmer although she'd intended the latter. "Speaking of making connections, you understand, of course, that you can't stay here indefinitely, sí? Your face is plastered all over this town, and with a price like the one on your head you and everyone here would be put in danger. It would be smart to at least disappear for a while, give it time to cool off." Turning an earnest gaze on him, with a sigh she added, "I hope you can forgive me. This was the fastest way I could think of to see you in person."
The old woman gave a polite nod, still barely bothering to hide her disapproval at the young man, yet regarded his sister as sweetly as ever. Nastya turned and led the way out, calling out behind her, "Hasta luego, Esther. I'll be back in time for dinner. And I'll have his tea even if he's not, so don't throw it away please."
She strode to the edge of the walkway and made a sharp left turn on the sidewalk, silently mouthing the names of numbers with every step. Eventually she turned to him and said "I'm glad you came. Much longer and I would've had to take more drastic measures to locate you. But I understand you need to be cautious and I appreciate you meeting me in such uncertain conditions. So...I saw your face, the moment it set in. How did you recognize I was me?"
Her oceanic eyes glimmered and a patient smile etched itself across her face as she read the look of recognition slowly dawning on William's. And his acting...One learned in the art of deception would've had him figured out, but she had to give him credit. He was more than good enough to fool Esther, and judging by the phone he'd obviously thought through at least the first line of holes one would think to poke in the mutually improvised story (which he'd surprisingly decided to go with, she wondered why).
Guess it runs in his blood. Nastya had never met him but history would always echo the tales of his bloodline. Charlemagne alone had been able to secure the full passage and enforcement of a metahuman registration act. He wasn't the only factor, but he alone knew exactly how to sell himself in a role that appealed to the American public. Will, too, seemed to be a natural. That made him, like his father, a dangerous variable.
She rolled her eyes, though still grinning. "Well, my phone was fine. You could have borrowed one and called me, you know I'm good about answering." Turning to her temporary caretaker, "If you'll excuse us for a little while," and to Will, "Walk with me, hermano?"