“Rex did seem to have changed a lot since the last time I saw him,” Caesar acknowledges evenly. He deliberately does not react to her sweeping gaze, though she might notice his thoughts in how much he doesn’t respond: he ignores her look, and ignores any emotional response he…
“That sounds acceptable.” He’d planned to keep working for Providence anyway. And when his work finally finished? Well, he’d get to that when he’d get to it. For all he knew, Providence wouldn’t even be around at that point.
“I do have one condition for this, however,” Caesar says, and now he brings his gaze up to meet hers. There’s no obvious defiance in his look, but there’s no submission in it, either.
“Considering that I’ll be taking responsibility for Rex’s actions towards Providence property, I would like to be assigned to handle future encounters with him—particularly where there is the threat of further damage.”
Black Knight took a moment to think over Caesar’s bargain. She obviously wasn’t on speaking terms with Rex, so maybe letting Caesar handle encounters could be beneficial. It certainly seemed like it’d be less of a…disaster. Caesar hadn’t yet pissed Rex off, as far as she knew. “Fine. But, you will have to let me know what these encounters are about, when they are happening, and where they are happening. I will not allow any hidden or secret meetings with Rex as long as he’s with those rebels.” She exhaled loudly and sunk back into her chair, “It’s a deal then?”
“Deal,” Caesar says, pouncing on the word like a cat finally catching its mouse. He regrets his haste almost as quickly: the response was too eager. Caesar isn’t as manipulative as Black Knight can be, but even he knows that he just tipped his hand.
The harm is already done; there’s no way to take it back. With nothing else to do, Caesar offers a bland, harmless little smile, folding his hands behind himself. He looks rather like a prisoner before a firing squad, and why shouldn’t he? There’s still that entire other question Black Knight wanted to ask. He never did really address it.
“I’ll set up a protocol that can be used to alert you at the first confirmed sighting,” he says instead, with affected calm. He can’t leave without a dismissal, and even though he’s not being particularly subtle, maybe he’ll get one regardless.
The deal was settled, but Black Knight wasn’t quite satisfied. Her dark eyes glared into Caesar’s. The room grew quiet. She still hadn’t forgotten about her original question, and she wasn’t going to let that man leave until she got the answer.
“Caesar,” her voice was harsh, “Where did you go on that unauthorized trip?”
Black Knight cocked her head slightly, crossing one leg over the other. Her other foot began to tap rhythmically on the tile floor.
She could undo his work with a single wave of her hand. This knowledge makes his heart pound faster and harder, though Caesar does his best to hide it.
“I was out searching for my brother,” he says honestly. “Today was the first chance I’ve had to see him for over six months. Where else would I go?”
Where else would he go. That was what she was concerned about. So hee went to see Rex, that could be good or bad. It was now Black Knights mission to find out. “Well Caesar, I’m not too happy with that. Seeing though, with this deal that has just been made, I would like to know where you met up, and what you spoke about.” Her foot began to tap louder and quicker.
“I didn’t find him.”
Bad, perhaps, but how bad? Caesar Salazar was never a good liar, but as before, there’s no defiance to his words. Not just that, but what has he chosen to lie about? A short run out to visit estranged family? He’s still under some control. Not completely, but then, was he ever entirely under her thumb? She needs Caesar, and as long as he’s the only one who can do precisely what he does, he’ll always have that freedom.
“I spent the whole time looking for him, but the trace radioactive indicators from my lab weren’t strong enough to lead me to his current location.” Caesar looks down for a moment, before his gaze slides back up to hers.
“Wherever he is, he’s long gone.”