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'Research' is the Excuse by bat

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The Lost Boys returned to the cave, having fed and making their nightly rounds at the Boardwalk. The night was cool and crisp for Northen California.

Bidding his packmates goodnight, David headed up to his own private rooms. The double oak doors, salvaged from long-collapsed hotel rooms, were still closed. Candle light flickered under them, casting shadows on the cave walls.

David's brow furrowed. He hadn't left the candles lit. Someone was in there. Slipping into denfensive mode, he opened the doors quickly and jumped in the air, intending to catch the intruder off-guard.

"What are you doing in here?" he roared, fangs bared, landing infront of them.

bat dropped the heavy, leather bound book. On her foot. She growled, hopping around. "Dangit all! Blast! ARGH! Geez, David!"

David couldn't help but chuckle, watching the new initiate hop around on one foot. He slipped from fang and gathered up the book from the dusty floor. "What are you doing in here, bat?"

"What's it look like?" she growled, clutching at her boot. David frowned darkly. "Sorry. I was reading, doing research."

"Research? You mean you might actually get yourself back to writing 'Louise'?"

"Ha ha, you're such a comedian, David." bat frowned and dropped into the ornate wooden chair that sat behind the oak writing table. "You and Carla should get a comedy act going. A thousand and one jokes about bat not writing 'Louise'."

David smirked and replaced the leather bound volume back on the shelf with care. "Now now..."

bat was chewing her thumbnail again, her hair in her eyes. David strode quietly over to her, tenderly brushing it back. He took her thumb from her mouth and dropped her hand in her lap.

"It's writer's block. Big time. I know what I want to say in parts, but it won't come out." David nodded, sitting on the table top, gloved hands folded in his lap. "And besides, I've got lots to do and things to worry about..."

"But you've been writing Heirophant."

bat shot David a look. "Yes. Yes I have. But that's different. It just comes out."

"And 'Louise' didn't just come out?" bat averted her eyes and ground her boot into the floor.

"Well perhaps. But it's still different. 'Louise' is much more... complicated. What with the research I need to do on Hunters and piercings, and cults..."

David nodded, removing a pack of cigarettes from his trenchcoat pocket. He finished lighting it before he spoke.

"All right, you can access my books, the ones you need. But don't tell anyone. Too many hands on them and I think they'll just turn to dust." he smiled. bat returned the smile.

"But what about the piercing research?"

"That you'll have to take up with Paul. Now, to bed. The sun's rising and I don't want to be a pile of ash." He shooed her out of his chambers and dropped a kiss on her forehead. bat pouted, but obeyed.

Shutting the door, David smiled and shook his head.
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