"You broke the cardinal rule, Domingo," Samuel said sternly.
Dom's wings ruffled in agitation as he replied, "I can't help him by hanging around invisibly then trying to mentally nudge some guy into taking an interest in him—and yes, Samuel, I'd give long odds he's gay. So as I was saying, staying invisible wouldn't have given me a chance to get him away from his apartment. He's a loner, and you know it. I wonder if he's even seen the inside of a bar, to say the least of visiting one?"
"He's twenty-six. Of course he has. Don't all young men go to one as a rite of passage?"
"He's not all young men. He's…he thinks he's worthless, except when it comes to helping the kids who visit the library. His moods change like that." Dom snapped his fingers. "I'm taking him out for a couple of drinks this evening but I'd be willing to bet that after the first one, he's going to want to leave because he feels uncomfortable. Still, it's a first step."
Samuel nodded. "It is. One word of caution though, you are not to get involved with him in any way other than as a friend."
"I'm not stupid! It would destroy him if I did and then vanished." Dom smiled slightly. "At least my cover story will explain why I have to leave, when I do. He thinks that I travel around the country as part of my job, sometimes settling in one place for an extended period of time if necessary."
Samuel actually chuckled. "You told him the truth, although not quite all of it."
"Yeah, well, I can hardly say, 'I'm your guardian angel'. I suspect telling him that would end any chance I have of helping him, because he'd think I was trying to make a fool out of him—something that's undoubtedly happened way too often in his life."
"I'm sure. All right, despite the fact it is against the rules to reveal yourself, I won't chastise you, since your reasoning is sound. However, if it happens again, there will be repercussions. Twice in less than a year is…well…twice too often." Samuel sighed. "You newer batch of angels seem to like pushing the boundaries."
"Hey now, Paddy does too, and he's hardly new," Dom protested.
"Paddy is a law unto himself," Samuel replied with a bit of asperity.
Dom grinned. "That he is. Okay, do you have any words of wisdom for me, or can I go back down and try to figure out how to fix Tim's life for the better?"
"You can, and you may. Just keep me apprised of the situation."
"Of course," Dom said before leaving the office. "I always do."
"Not always," Samuel said, his words echoing in Dom's head as he reappeared in his apartment in the city.
"Well… Usually?" Dom chuckled, when Samuel's reply was a mocking snort.