And no, I didn’t ask to borrow armor from Thruor for the shoot. It was tempting, though. “A mermaid,” I teased Monica, heading away from the school with her.
“It’ll be fun. We’re going to actually go out to the Eastern Shore.”
I grinned. “It’s definitely different.” And maybe it would take her mind off of things.
No. Maybe it would take my mind off of things. I was definitely starting to think I needed the distraction more than she did. But this was helping. A good fight would help too – maybe a good fight would help more.
I wasn’t sure. I also didn’t want Monica in a good fight. Or did I? She still seemed fine, and I wasn’t about to treat her as fragile. Well, more fragile than she already was.
“And shoot in the edge of the water and stuff. I haven’t done anything like this in forever.”
The idea of going to the beach appealed. I wished we’d thought of it before school started back up.
I suddenly envisioned a beach below pristine mountains and knew it was a stray memory. It seemed to become clearer the more I focused on it…then faded away like dust. I shook my head. “This is all going to be fun. Maybe I’ll see if I can come out there with you.”
“Sure! We can get crab cake on the shore or something.”
I felt normal. I felt ordinary. We both needed this. This moment of being just like other girls with no concerns, no worries. Nobody was going to die, nobody was being stalked by a fire giant or a demon.
And then I sensed him. “Tyz’vel,” I whispered.
“Joy. Can I punch him in the balls?”
“Go ahead if you get an opening.” I looked around for him. “Or not. He doesn’t have any right now.”
I picked him out of the crowd but, right now, he was a she. Red hair, very fair skin. Looked rather Irish.
“Ovaries, then. I’m not fussy.”
“You’re the one who slept with him.”
“And I’m still regretting it.”
We both fixed our eyes on Tyz’vel and she tilted her head then came over towards us. I hoped the number of mortals around would keep her from doing anything stupid or obvious.
“Ooh. Monica has a problem,” she said, in an Irish accent and with an infinity of sarcasm in her voice.
Monica held her ground and her gaze.
“Want me to take care of that for you? I can, you know.”
“For the low, low price of my soul?” she asked.
I decided she didn’t need my help dealing with this.
“Well, yes, but I think you’d enjoy being a succubus.”
Monica laughed. “Nah. Not if all of the customers are as good as you are.”
“We could try again,” he noted. “Maybe you’ll have learned something since last time.”
I seriously considered slipping away. She was handling him…her…so beautifully. But I really didn’t want to just abandon her to him.
So, instead, I watched and, I have to admit, took notes.