At first blush, Royce wanted to deck the guy. "That runt is my sister so watch it," he growled through closed teeth. Yeah, he got that he was in a seriously public place and there wasn't any fighting allowed but seriously, he couldn't help but feel over-protective and want to break the guy's nose. What did he know about Rosemary? It was her small size that people always picked on first. Pfft, well, that runt could probably kick his hunter ass. Actually, probably not but she could at least out-run him.
And yeah, okay. Rosemary could be cheeky but that was just who she was. Sure, it got annoying sometimes but it wasn't that bad. Rosey hadn't given a lot of details about what was going on and what had happened between her and the hunter. He should have asked before coming out here. The guy wasn't sending him threats so that did ease his nerves a little. "The day you get her to wear a collar, I'll buy the leash." That wasn't an invitation AT ALL. Just a way to emphasize just how likely it would be for him to ever leash Rosey. But he got what the guy was saying. Keep Rosey out of trouble.
Wasn't that the saying of the century?
Royce took a dive into guilt when the guy told him that Rosey taking his burgers was stealing his tips. That made sense. If she was taking something that wasn't her's, that was bad. Damnit, he should have reprimanded her about that. He had been so ready to jump on this hunter guy for starting up shit but if Royce really thought about it, it wouldn't be a surprise if it was Rosey who had been the instigator. Great, he so did not want to lay down the law with Rosemary. She didn't take to rules well. Clearly.
The guy offered him a discount on a burger and Royce almost slammed the palm of his hand to his forehead. "No, no. I don't need a discount. Shit, don't do that. I should be paying you double. Triple. For the burgers and for baby-sitting. No, just get me a couple burgers. Full price." He wasn't about to take charity from someone who was barely making it himself. As it was, having Charlie cook and feed him made him feel bad. Not enough to make her stop but just enough to make sure to at least contribute some money to her whenever he had any.
Was he considering making peace with a hunter? The same hunter that had been giving Rosey a problem? To be fair to the guy, Rosey had probably been the problem. "Caleb? Cool. Probably better than hamburger boy." Rosey's pick, not his. She had a couple more but he wasn't repeating those. Some of her nicknames got weird. She had given all of Charlie's cats these weird names that Royce couldn't even pronounce. "So don't worry about Rosey anymore. I mean, Rosemary. She didn't mean anything by it. Sometimes, she gets bored and she'll latch onto the first thing that entertains her. This week, it's you. Next week, it'll be something else." If he was going to make peace with this guy, he had to make the guy understand that Rosey hadn't meant to be a pest. It wasn't that she had been out to purposely irritate the guy. He didn't think she had.