I ordered a beer and I turned to the vampire who had helped me get the dragons to see a better solution. “I didn’t catch your name.”
“I didn’t give it.” He smiled, flashing his fangs.
I grinned, “Alright. Thank you for your assistance, tell Chris I said hi.”
“He missing day shift, he doesn’t get to say hi anymore.”
“He’s manager now. He’s doing well.”
The vampire nodded, “He is. Is Armande keeping you updated on him.”
“For the most part.”
“Did he tell you he’s got a serious boyfriend?”
I smirked, “No, but I’ll offer you congratulations, Avery for finally getting Chris to say yes.”
The vampire blushed. “So you knew more than you said.”
I shook my head. “No, I knew Chris was only interested in one guy. Avery was persistent when we were talking. But Chris wasn’t sure he liked boys.”
“He said that he talked to you about it. You said you only live once.”
I grinned, “It was a joke. Since technically you got a second chance at life. You told him that he was your first guy too that’s what talked him around.”
“Lived for a few hundred years, and this newb of a vampire walks into the kiss fiending for blood and lacking all possible skills and Armande and Del Figlio forced me to be his mentor. I didn’t want it, but the brat weaseled his way into my heart as a vampire, and then he was sweet and kind and everything I wanted in a partner except he was male. Never thought I’d end up in the same bed with another man when I was human, but as a vampire it’s different.”
I shrugged, “You’ve just had a lot longer than most to accept that some people love who they love and it doesn’t matter sex or gender.”
“I do love him.”
“I’m glad,” I said. “Chris deserves to be happy.”
“He only deserves to be because you saw it fit to spare his life. He killed a lot of people.”
“His sire abandoned him, he didn’t know any better. Il Cane was given a second chance, there is no reason any other vampire shouldn’t be given the same thing when their sires abandon them. Chris is a reasonable young man.”
The door behind me jingled and I smelled a thick campfire scent as the woman sat down next to me. Her accent was heavily southern, “Daryl, you rang?” Her voice was silk and when I stole a glance out of the corner of my eye, her skin was the darkest ebony I’d ever seen and her hair was the color of gold – not blond gold, like strands of metallic metal dripping from her head.
Avery patted my shoulder as he left the bar. “I’ll catch you later.” I could hear the word Feras in my head as he left, he had purposefully not said it out loud.
The bartender looked at me and then back at the two guys who were fixing to pull weapons. I didn’t need to know what was going on. I just stood up and stepped between then and my dragon friend and I threw up a wall of air so thick it would stop bullets. “He called you so we could talk.” I stood behind her holding the wall of air up. She turned around as I pulled the hood from my sweatshirt down.
Her reaction was almost instantaneous, but mine was faster. She spewed fire out of her more than human throat but I had a wall of air blocking her path and it splattered back at her. She danced away then turned and ran out the back door.
“Sorry,” I said to Daryl as I started after her.
Daryl called after me. “She has a baby.” Fuck!