“What was that?” Del looks at me. His shaking has stopped by now. He frowns.
“What was what?” Going for dumb. Not working from the look on his face.
“The whole sword thing.” He stops where we are. Middle of the sidewalk. Half way home. Puts a hand on my chest. “Tell me.”
“When we get back. Maybe.” Push by him. Keep walking.
He catches up. “You bet you will Trev.”
“Tit for tat, Del. I tell. You tell.”
He stops again. In front of me. Looking up. Says slowly, “All right.”
Back at my place. Sprawled on the bed. Del sitting cross-legged. Staring at me.
Eyeing him for a minute. “Do you believe in things that go bump in the night?”
He shrugs. “Maybe. I’ve seen a lot of strange things out there on the streets.” Looks me over. “Why?”
“You know what Vampyres are? At least in theory?”
Throws back his head. Laughing. Sobers. “You’re serious. You?”
“Fuck no. I hate the bastards. But…” Staring up at the ceiling. Cracked. Dirty. “But I’m half Vampyre.”
“Sure you are. Like Blade? What do you call it? Dhampir. Yeah. That’s it.”
Feel his eyes on me. Nod. “Yeah. Like him, sort of.”
Long silence. Then. “OK, Trev the joking’s over. I’m not buying into fairy tales and I know you’re not crazy enough to think I will. Tell me the truth.”
Sit up. Smile slowly at him. Let my Vampyre side show. Not something I do often. Only when I’m killing them. The beast within me.
He pulls back. Eyes wide with shock. But doesn’t run. Just looks. Head shaking. Reaches out. Touches my face.
“Shit. You were telling the truth.”
Then he gets up. Goes to my coat tossed over the chair. Takes the sheathed sword from under it. Pulls the sword out. Almost caresses it.
I nod. “Damned straight.”
Puts it back where he got it. Sits on the bed again. Pointing a finger at me. “Go back to normal. I can’t talk to you when you’re like that.”
I do. Smile. “Better?”
“Hell yeah. So Mr. Dhampir Trev, are you hiding out here from your enemies?”
He’s taking it too calmly. Like nothing out of the ordinary. I answer. Still bemused. He’s…too trusting. “No.” Leave it at that.
Del waggles a finger at me. “No is not a good answer.”
“It’s all you get for now. Now I get to play twenty questions.” Leaning back against the wall. “Why do you do this?”