It wasn’t a voice. It was a noise. I jumped slightly.
I glanced around, but saw only a little flicker of light. The fairy was back, and I resolved to ignore it until it did something worthy of retaliation.
Pssst. And a tap on my other shoulder.
I turned, and saw an unpleasant looking biker guy across the street. He looked like a bulldog. No, wait, bulldogs are cute and friendly. Saying he looked like one insulted the bulldog. But his shoulders were broad. He had almost no neck. And he had spikes on his shoulders.
“Ugh. Are you making sure I notice his ugliness?”
This time there were words in the whisper. “Yes, because he’s been following you for three blocks.”
I almost asked why the fairy cared, but then I decided it was probably enjoying our little war and felt somebody beating me up would be an unwelcome interruption.
Or maybe I’d earned a bit of respect with the soymilk. Either way, I was rather glad to have my attention drawn to his ugliness. He didn’t look like somebody I wanted following me.
Or he was one of the good guys. Impossible to tell at this point. I thought, and then went for the brazen it out option. Sure, he looked like a troll…or maybe one of Tolkein’s orcs…but.
I crossed the street to his side with the light, then casually waited until he got closer. “You’ve been made,” I informed him. “Might as well tell me what you want.”
“Boss just said to keep an eye open and let him know if you left the city.”
“And who’s your boss?”
“Can’t tell you.” From the look in his beady eyes, it was a ‘he’d kill me’ kind of can’t.
I contemplated threatening to kill him if he didn’t tell me, but I really had no intention of carrying out that threat and he would probably have sensed it was empty. “Well, tell him watching is one thing, but any kind of attack will get retaliation.”
An assessing gaze came back. “Yeah. I can see that.”
I was serious about that. Kill him right now, no. Too many witnesses and he hadn’t deserved it yet. But if he did, I wouldn’t hesitate. And I was half hoping he did. Which was unfair of me. Judging by appearances?
Not good of me, really, but it was hard not to. He looked like he was trying to look evil. But for all I knew he was on my side and just keeping an eye on me. “I don’t know who’s side you’re on, but I don’t appreciate being followed around.”
“Nobody does. It’s not personal.”
“From your point of view, maybe not.” I considered seeing if I could outbid his boss, but the fear in the back of his eyes dissuaded me.
Not worth getting the guy killed when it was completely unnecessary. “I’ll be leaving now,” I added, stalking away.
I hadn’t felt anything from him. Maybe he was just human.