I had to trust Kanesha to think of good prank ideas, because almost the second I got out of school, my cell phone rang.
A client had an emergency. Could I get to a shoot in thirty minutes? You didn’t say no to things like that, not if you wanted to make money.
I was going, I thought, to need my own transportation if this kept up. Maybe a bike. No, definitely a bike. Not one like Thruor’s, of course, but a regular bike would get me through traffic better than a car would.
Affording one was the question. As it was, I tugged out my phone to check the bus routes even as I ran for the stop. It didn’t matter what state I arrived in – makeup would take care of it. Makeup could make somebody who was coming off a three day drunk look good, I’d found, if it was applied by a professional who did it all the time.
On the bus, standing – I didn’t expect a man to get up for me, but an old lady nearby was trying to look daggers at somebody to get them to. I shook my head. No sense to it. And off again, through the streets. I got there a little mussed and a little out of breath.
“Aha. Miss Rudi.”
“Sorry. I…only just got out of school.” It seemed a lame admission when most there were older than I was.
“Good that you’re staying in. Head into the back room and get made up.”
Staying in school. I appreciated the compliment. I wasn’t sure how much it mattered that I did, but it still made me feel a little good to know I was doing the right thing.
As long as Martin didn’t show up, but this was a studio shoot. He couldn’t get in. Or he could disguise himself as a cameraman.
Or…something. I felt a vague tickle that let me know Loki was somewhere in the area, but I didn’t look around for him. He could be anyone, after all. I sort of wanted to learn that trick, but he’d warned me.
Why? He’d warned me against becoming too trickstery, that was it. But I’d rather he was around than Martin.
As long as he didn’t photo bomb anything, which very much struck me as in his milieu.
Makeup took one look at me, sighed, and got to work. I’d already learned to hold still. I’d also realized I probably didn’t really need it, but I couldn’t afford to let people get that suspicious of me. So, I held still and hoped Martin didn’t show up.
The same woman who’d offered to kiss me in front of him…what was her name? Chloe, that was right…was amongst the models milling around and waiting for their clothes.
“Any more stalker problems?” she asked me.
“He’s proving a barnacle,” I quipped.
“Oh man. Restraining order?”
I shook my head. “Not going to stop him. Last person I knew who tried to get a restraining order ended up being kidnapped.”
“This guy isn’t that guy, though. He’s annoying, but he’s not going to try anything like that.” I was confident in that particular assessment.
Martin didn’t want to force me. He wanted to prove his manhood (demonhood?) by getting me to come to him willingly.