I took my newly acquired file to the cafeteria to browse through while I grabbed a snack to tide me over. I didn’t really know what Alex had planned and being hungry if I had to eat some strange place was easier than making myself eat. The line was near empty at this hour, but the cafeteria was not. It was the usual din of people talking and eating and sometimes talking while chewing which made me shudder.
Ms. Sheila was in the back making whatever was on the dinner menu that night. I shouted, “Hey Ms. Sheila.”
She waved her hand from behind the stainless steel barrier. “You keep on moving that line, boy. I’m too busy to say hi properly.”
“That’s alright. I’m just grabbing some fruit and water.”
“You need more than that she shouted and peered around the corner.”
“I have a date later, I think I’ll eat then.”
There was a clatter of pans behind the barrier and a lot of cursing. My announcement having caught someone off guard. “Who’s the lucky girl?”
“His name is Alex.” I emphasised.
Ms. Sheila gave me a slight blush at the misconception. “Have fun!” She said before stepping behind the stainless steel barrier to berate which ever of her help had made the mess. I grabbed a banana, a bowl of berries and a bottle of water. All things I could trust were not screwed up.
I used my allotted meal plan slot for the three items which made the guy at the register look at me funny. Like he ever saw me here anyway. Most Venatori came by three times a day got their three meals and a snack and were here regularly. I only came to the cafeteria when I was too lazy to go to my apartment for a snack.
There were not any empty tables so I took a seat with as much clearance between me and the next person. Which gave me three empty seats between us. Sadly I’d chosen the table with Walker Moore and Simon Harvard at the other end of the table.
Walker nodded at me as I put the folder on the table and sat down with my fruit and water. “That the dragon case?”
“It’s for the case.” I said. “Information we have on the Last Phoenix.”
Harvard asked, “What for? Dragons is dragons. What does it matter which bloody faction they are part of?”
“Well when all the cases of dragons showing themselves to humans are all part of the same faction it matters.” I said flatly as I cracked open my water and took a long drag of it.
Walker moved over to sit across from me, “How do you know they are all the same faction?” He was genuinely curious.
“All dragons are part of a faction. All factions except The Golden Clan have a unique brand given to them on their true form. It translates as a tattoo on their human form. Dragon 101.”
Walker chuckled, “You really think anyone listens to the fire breather as they tell us about their kind?”
“I did.” I said as I peeled my banana and took a bite.
I heard a laugh from behind me but I hadn’t heard the comment. But I recognized the laugh. And three seconds later a big black man was standing next to me. He leaned down and spoke loud enough for three tables away to hear. “Wishing that was some guy’s cock?”
I grinned at him and swallowed the piece I was chewing very deliberately. “You only wish it was your cock. Tell me, do your friends know about who you fucked on survival training?” I stood up and Aaron’s body was hard against mine. I was taller than him but he was far wider and I didn’t exactly have the leverage to be bullying him with the seat between my legs as it was.
Aaron went to throw me to the table by grabbing the back of my neck. He did it so often and it had been something I’d been working with Ant and Ryan with over the past few years. I ducked and then quickly had him in the position he intended for me. His face on the table and my hand against his neck and the small of his back. I had my body pressed against his ass like I could fuck him right there. But I wasn’t even hard for this fucker. He was an asshole.
I leaned over him, “Want me to show them right here what you did to me?”
He started to struggle beneath me and I released him with a shove to the otherside of the room. “Fuck off Aaron. Maybe one of your goons will jerk you off.”
I sat down in my seat and popped a blueberry in my mouth waiting for Aaron to try something again. Mother fucker!
Walker and Harvard were both watching me as I flipped through the file now that the fuckwad was gone. “Anything interesting?” Harvard asked.
“If you’d stop referring to me as Harvard I might actually like you. Aaron Woolbright was a dipshit in the Academy.”
“I know. He was my roommate.” I said. “So what we on a first name basis?”
“Simon will do for now. You know Walker. Tell us what you are thinking?” The big black man said. He was twice as wide as Aaron and he could probably break me in half without breaking a sweat.
The man laughed. “You don’t shut up do you?”
I grinned. “I hate shielding my thoughts and feelings. I have to shield what I see, hear, smell so blocking more is too time consuming.”
“You’re shields should be nothing.”
“My shields take conscious effort to maintain. You try not seeing patterns that are everywhere. My father is the same way if you ask any telepath in the room.”
Harv… Simon laughed. “I’ve been around Mr. Viddens before and he isn’t quite as vocal as you are.”
“Because Kai doesn’t think as much as I do.” I stuck my tongue out at him. “I ramble. It’s how I get from point A to point B. Dae’lin says I get lost in thought. Margo says it’s because everything happens too fast and I can’t process it quick enough.”
“So Mr. Viddens processes it faster?” Simon asked.
I shrugged. “His is glimpses of action. Visions all combined into one thing, he sees the possibilities as a movie. Think like the movie Next where Nicholas Cage’s character can see into the future for 2 mins at a time. Over and over. Kai’s ability is like that except he can see for longer periods of time and sometimes seem infinite possibilities. But he has to think about it. Control it. For me. I see the pattern in things. I can see the molecular structure of everything if I tried really hard.” I sighed, “It’s more complicated than you think. But back to this.” I tapped the papers. “This is the leader of the Last Phoenix. Ye Pan, or the Dragon. THE dragon.” I rolled my eyes, “As if there is only one. But he has several operations in the City – docks, legal, big business here. But the little people is what I want. So they hang at the Ugly Dog Saloon. At least that’s the joint the last few dragons had been caught in. It’s in Harlem which is vampire territory. So it’s likely a safe haven for other supernatural creatures. Doubt that the beer is any good.”
“So when do you plan on going?” Walker asked eagerly.
“What?” I asked.
“When do you plan on going to take out this dragon?” Harv… Simon clarified.
“Um. I have a date at 3. I don’t know I might be able to go later tonight, but I’m not going to plan that. I have no idea what I’m walking into. I’d rather have back up.”
“We’ll go.” Walker chimed in.
Simon laughed, “We too straight for you?”
I sighed. “No, it’s just you’ll kill everyone and I’d rather not have the reputation that I bring Feras into their safe havens.”
“We won’t kill unless provoked.” Simon said.
“I’d prefer if you didn’t kill at all.”
Walker sighed, “So tonight?”
“I … I don’t know.” I wasn’t liking this rush job. “Tomorrow. Tomorrow night better so I can at least set things straight with the vamps so we don’t get our heads bitten off the moment we cross the territory line.”
“You are worried about pissing off some vampires?”
I sighed. “And werewolves, and dragons and not to mention Il Cane. Give me time. This is my city remember.”
“We’ve worked this city more than you have.” Simon growled. “Whatever. We’re going in tonight, you can come with or not.” He got up and stormed out of the cafeteria. Walker gave me an apologetic smile before he too was out the door.