Re: log: flower delivery - ella g/mason j
She swore an oath over the flowers, and he smiled without thinking much about it. Pure pleasure was a rarity for him. It was all about her earnestness, her fierce desire to meet the dare. She might just deserve tougher tasks, the kind she could rise to, the kind that dealt with stuff a little sterner than pretty plants, as much as they would also please him. Below, there was work, and competition for his ear. Here, where she was alone, she had his full attention.
"Come now," he said, watching her bold fingers trip over his front. "You'll make the preacher blush." He tucked his cigarette into his mouth, then grasped her traipsing fingers, turning her palm gently over as if it might tell him something.
Rory and Janus. He didn't answer right away, listening to her report of the man in the store. Old gods weren't the threat they used to be, but any competition needed an eye kept on it, as did the two soldiers of faith it and others like it had brought to this town.
He looked at her palm. "Anyone ever tell your fortune?" he asked, smoke trickling from his mouth, eyes glittering like the Dragon they said he was. He traced a finger down over her lifeline. "Not even I can tell you that. Fortune tellers are cheats, most of them, or the tortured kind who see a glimpse of what might be but probably won't. Anything with thoughts in its head is unpredictable. Thinking things can be bent, by time or circumstances. Or catastrophe, or good luck."
He reached into his pocket and produced a coin, which he laid flat in her hand.
"Had that one for a while," he said. Left in her hand, it was warm, and it stayed that way - just a little warmer than her skin.
"The crusaders in this town, if they figure you out, they won't be fond of you," he said. "And there's others who might come looking for trouble. I didn't leave a trail, but this town is a magnet for all kinds of things, which means some of them might come looking for you if they see a line that leads to me."
He closed her fingers over the coin, placing his hand over hers, pulling the cigarette from his mouth. "You find yourself in trouble, you can use that to buy whatever you need to get out of it. And I'll come calling after you. I know when it's been spent." The preacher had very human eyes, dark brown and soft.
"I'll talk to the dog, but Janus could your ear, I think," he said. The demon was one of those in his rank who had drawn the preacher's particular attention. Not common, not these days. It meant he liked him, but also that he wanted to be sure the demon had what he needed to do his job and stay in his state. It would be a shame to lose him for any reason.
"You let me know if Rory tells you anything remarkable," he added. There was a good chance the dog would confide in her where he would be too skittish to mention doubts to the boss. "And how tired the man with the piano is looking these days."
Finally, he released her fingers and leaned back. No more somber talk of marching orders, and silver coins of Tyre. "Newspaper editor?" he asked. He finally took a proper drag from his cigarette, and blew smoke toward the floor. He dropped it into the dustpan at their feet, then, and crushed it with the toe of a scuffed leather shoe.
Unexpectedly, he laughed. "Isn't there enough madness to fill the pages with?"