“You wear a cross? It can’t be for protection.” Daniel looks at it. At me. We’ve stripped down so I can teach him some fighting moves.
“Right. Not that kind of protection. A friend gave…no, lent it to me to keep me safe.” I smile a bit. Thinking of Del.
“Female friend I bet from the smile. You doing her?”
“In the first place,” growling, “if I were that’s none of your business. In the second place, well there isn’t a second place. Other than she's a he.”
He looks at me in disbelief, so I aim a swift kick to his balls. He’s startled. But avoids it. Just. The tip of my shoe grazes his hip. Comes back with two fast ones of his own. I grab his ankle on the second one. He’s on his back looking up at me. Wincing.
“It was just a question. Damn.”
I twist. He’s face down now. My knee in the small of his back. “My personal life is just that, personal. And pay attention. If I’d been a Vampyre you’d be dead now or on the way to worse.” Let him up. “Now try again.”
We continue with the lesson for a while. He improves. Fast learner. Which is good. Finally call a halt.
He goes to the fridge. Hands me a cold one. Flops back on the sofa that’s now against the wall. “You have a rep for screwing a different chick every night.”
I chuckle. “That’s reached your ears way out here? And I'll screw anything human. It's…me."
“I checked up on you before I called.” Running a finger down the bottle. Glances at me. “You got awfully defensive when I asked about that…guy.” Holds up his hand before I can say anything. “None of my business I agree but this is me. I like knowing things about…friends.” Looks at me to see if I accept that.
“Not sure we’re anything more than friends, yet, but I guess maybe…” Pace to the window. Take a long pull on my beer. Turn back. “OK. Yeah, he’s important to me but we’re nothing more than friends. We help each other out when needed. Grab a bite to eat or what have you together but that’s all there is to it.”
“Why?” His eyebrow goes up quizzically.
“Why what? Why haven’t I made it with him? 'Cause he wouldn’t want that I suppose. But more because I respect him and I think he respects me. I’m not willing to loose that or his friendship for a quick in and out.”
“He knows what you are?”
“Yep.” Go back to settle at the other end of the sofa. Take another swig of beer.
“And he doesn’t mind? That must be one hell of a guy, there.”
“That he is.” I know I’m smiling. Try turning the tables on him. “You got a chick?”
“Naw, but I’m not looking either. I need to get a handle on things first. This, my father, all of it.” He stares at me. “Trev, I’m not giving him up to you. At least not yet. So if you were thinking I would, forget it. I accept that he’s probably as bad as you say, but until I work things out in my head I can't do that.”
I nod. “Just remember, if you make the right decision and you need me to take him down you can call. And Daniel, don’t try it by yourself. He may live at home with your mom, but he doesn’t sleep there if I don’t miss my guess, at least not any more—since he sent you after his rival. He’s got the reputation for being one smart cookie and I’d bet my bottom dollar that he’s not going to take even the remotest chance that word will get to you about what he’s really like, and you’ll come after him.”
Daniel chuckles. “I think that’s the longest sentence I’ve heard you speak.” Sobers then. “Yeah, I know. I’ll be careful. I’m going to do my best to off any of the bastards I find. And thanks to you I just might succeed now.”
“No problem. You’re a quick study. You should be fine. And as I said, you need help, you call.” Finish my beer. Get up. Grin at him. “Ready for another round? It’s the last you’ll get before I leave town.”