James’s Note: I am a sucker for a good relationship. I just don’t see enough of them in stories. I also love the trope of the gorgeous woman with the funny looking guy who is actually awesome. I also like the reverse, but you hardly ever see that. Maybe I’ll have to write one of those some day…
Ollie rolled his eyes, “Picky picky picky. But yeah, I think I can come up with something. I’ve been playing around with some of those frag 12 shotgun rounds. I’m normally not allowed to sell them to civilians, but we’ve never let a little thing like federal law come between our friendship. They’re basically a grenade shoved into a shotgun shell, and I’ve added my own artistic flare.”
Knowing Ollie, artistic flare probably meant extra high explosives, silver, and a live hornets nest for all I know. “Do you think it’ll stop a loup-garou?”
“Maybe”, he said, “if you emptied a whole magazine into his face. But I figure what it will mostly do is give you time. I’m assuming you have another plan. You always do.”
“Yeah”, I said grinning. I kind of like being famous for my cleverness. Sue me. “That actually brings me to the next thing I need. I need you to get in touch with Dimitri for me.”
Ollie groaned, “Dimitri? Really? You know that crazy bastard scares the crap out of me.”
“Yeah I know. And coming from a crazy bastard like you, that’s really saying something. But yeah I really need him and you calling in your favor is probably the only way I’m getting him Into the country.”
“Yeah well”, Olly sighed resignedly, “it’s not like you don’t have plenty of favors with me you could call in. All right, I’ll call him. Although, in all honesty, when he hears what we’ve got, he just might hop on a plane anyway.”
I smiled slightly. “That’s kind of what I’m hoping for.”
Tasha came back with my tea, and it really did make everything feel better. Not only did I feel like I was going to live, but now I actually wanted to. She fussed over me for a bit, making me blush so constantly that I could have passed for some sort of colorful songbird. Luckily, this is nothing new for her, so she politely declined to notice.
You see, Tasha is, well, an interesting case. She’s only about half human. The other half is hard to pin down. My best guess is some kind of spirit. Once, when I really got her feeling talkative, she told me she was the River’s Daughter.
No, I haven’t the foggiest idea what that means and I’ve never wanted to press the matter. All I know is that she has more magic than I’ve ever seen in anyone who could pass for human. I’m not sure if her sex appeal is supernatural, or if it’s just a combination of her nearly perfect body and the fact that she is genuinely the kindest person I’ve ever met.
The whole time Ollie hung around, teasing me and making my blush a few shades closer to fire engine territory. You’d think he would be jealous, but you’d be wrong. The looks he gave her, especially when she wasn’t looking, were the kind of utter adoration that doesn’t leave room for the kind of doubt that allows jealousy. The really amazing part is that when he looked away, she was giving him the same looks.
I totally understood. This funny looking little werewolf had a stronger character and a kinder heart than just about anyone. I guess the beautiful spirit princess figured there were more important things than looks.