I crashed when I got home. It had been a walk and a half to get back to my own apartment. My dreams were plagued with images of the pretty boy using kids to get what he wanted. I started awake several times before I sought the serenity of the beach landscape so i could at least relax in peace.
I woke with the sun streaming in through my window and was surprised it was nearly 10 am when my body finally woke me. I had expected an early morning call from Nox – being the fucking early bird that he was. But there were no missed calls or texts on my phone. I hadn’t heard from Janice or Jared either and I expected to hear something about Lindsay at the very least already. I hunted for my phone but it wasn’t anywhere I typically left it. I must have left it at the other apartment. They were going to think I was ignoring them on purpose – served them right though.
But I really did need to check up on Lindsay.
I didn’t get a chance as a text appeared on my phone with time and place that meant Poet wanted to meet. Which also meant I wasn’t going to be able to do much of anything I wanted.
Poet wanted to meet in yet another random cafe across town. This one ritzier than the last. My coffee with 2 sugars and cream was sitting in a large ceramic cup on a platter next to a brownie. Poet didn’t even look up as I sat down. “I didn’t know what you’d like so I got that. Feel free to take it to one of your marks if you don’t like it.”
I sipped at my coffee and nodded as I broke a piece of the brownie off. Not my favorite, but it would do. It was rich and decadent and went well with my dark roasted coffee. “What did you need so early in the morning, Poet?”
“Tell me about the boy? I hear rumors he’s hunting a dragon in the Last Phoenix.”
“I don’t know about the latter, but a dragon yes. He caught her last night.”
Poet shook his head. “What else did you learn about this dragon he caught?”
I shrugged. “She was robbing banks.”
“She is a friend of an ally, do you know if she’s dead?”
I shook my head. “She wasn’t when I last saw him. I don’t think he planned on killing her.”
Poet sighed. “Thank you, Alex. Anything else on him?”
“Nothing you can use. Well other than that he’s a royal mess. Though he told me he’s looking for a partner. Not someone to work with, someone to live with – his one.” I smirked at the idea that I’d thought he was my one at one point in my life. How wrong was I?
“He’s got a soft spot for kids too.” I added. “Though he’s willing to use whatever he needs to get what he wants.” I thought about what had happened with the boy and wondered what happened to him now that his parents were both prisoners of the Venatori.
Poet chuckled, “He’s making you question things isn’t he?”
I shrugged. “He’s a hypocrite.”
Poet laughed and I knew it was at my expense, fuck him. I stood up to leave but Poet put his hand on my elbow and I sat back down. “What do you need me to do?”
Poet smiled that devious smile I knew I was going to hate whatever he asked of me. “I need you to get closer, help me understand what exactly I can use to control him. He’s getting in my way, and if I can’t control him. I will have to eliminate him otherwise.” Poet smirked, “Unless you are up to that task?”
“I can control him just fine, you want someone else to do it, fine with me.”
Poet’s smile grew wider, “It’s not so much as I want someone else. I want you to do it. But I know your other deal is wrapping up and I can let you go…”
I sighed, “But you’d rather I do it for you because I can keep feeding you information while I manipulate him to doing what you want.”
“You know he’s royally messed up in the head right? Fucking anxiety and panic attacks.”
Poet chuckled, “No. But you seem to handle him well. Or am I wrong?”
“How close do you need him to be?”
“I need him eating out of your hands. Ready to do what you ask at the drop of a hat. Are you up for that task Alex? If not I might get Reaper to see what he can do now that he’s got unfettered access to their mainframe. He’s a rigid electronic schedule yes?”
Fuck that. He wasn’t giving my job to fucking Reaper. “I got it Poet. No need to get nasty.”
He gave me a quick smile and stood up with his newspaper in hand. “As always a pleasure doing business Alex.”
I growled, “Like wise.” only to be polite. But Poet was pushing me deeper into the fucking depths of my memories but that favor was worth it.