I cried myself to sleep on the couch, and when I dreamed I woke to the strange landscape. My eyes felt like I’d been crying for hours, I probably looked a fright. Even in my dream I seemed to echo how I really felt.
There was a voice behind me, “I hoped I’d find you here.”
“I don’t want you to come here anymore.” I said turning around. From the look on his face I knew I looked dreadful. “You want to read my mind and hold my thoughts against me fine. Read them. I’m quitting my job. I don’t want to see you again.”
I forced myself awake.
I cried, but there were no tears left to fall.
I was done. I wouldn’t go back to Brew. I wouldn’t worry about him, or his. I had my own problems to deal with. I hadn’t slept but an hour, and I was out in the middle of the night running. A ran until my legs could no longer carry me. I don’t even know where I ended up except that the bus stop was empty and dark and I was alone in the dark of the City.
There were people walking by, cars rushing past even at this hour. But I was utterly alone. No family, no loved ones, a bare handful of friends. I had no money, no job.
I pulled out my phone and looked at the last message from Rider. I pushed the new message button and started typing.
I regret to inform you that I will no longer be able to work for you. I’m sorry there is no two week notice, but I just can’t be there tomorrow or for the next two weeks.
I leaned my head against the back of the bus stop shell and closed my eyes. I felt a presence again next to me, and when I opened my eyes there was a man sitting next to me. He work a black leather coat, and ruffles sticking out of his collar, his eyeliner was thick, “A nice bright night out?” his French accent was thick.
“At least the moon thinks it’s a good night.” I said.
“The bus isn’t running this late.”
I nodded, “I know. I’m just resting.”
I looked over at him and he smiled, his fangs bright in the glimmer of the moon light. I expected him to bite me but he held my gaze, “Everything from tonight you will forget. You didn’t just quite your job. You and Alex never had your little talk. Everything from today you will forget.”
I gave a slight nod, but how was I supposed to do all of that. I couldn’t just forget.
The man stood up with a smile, “I’ll call you a taxi.”
I stayed put and he took my phone from me, and then he was handing it back after doing as he said. And then he was gone in the night. I was alone.
The taxi arrived and I got in, still a little dazed. I went to sleep but I didn’t go to my little dream world. I stayed in the darkness. It was as much of a physical exercise to keep from dreaming as a mental one, I woke covered in sweat.
My phone was blinking at me with a waiting message.
Can you come in early? We need to talk.
The message I’d sent last night to Rider was gone, and he was asking me to come in. I sighed and sent him a reply before crawling out of bed.
No. I quit last night.
I expected a reply but I didn’t get one. Maybe it was too early.
I crawled out of bed and did the morning thing. I’d have to look for another job so I could make ends meet, but I’d need a paper to do that, or to walk the city to find a for hire sign. But I also had a few house calls to make. Though just walking in to some vampire or werewolf haunt probably wasn’t the best bet.
I hunted for the cards Alex had given me and found them tucked into the book I’d been reading. My night before flashed through my mind and I remembered the man from the bus stop. A friend of Alex’s? He tried to make me forget. He was manipulating me still. He rejected me and wanted me to forget. Fat chance. He really was a con man but much more truth was he was the asshole he claimed.
I was done with him. Whatever feelings I might have had were crushed by the realization he wanted nothing more from than sex. He didn’t even value that I was my own person capable of forgiveness or understanding.
There was a knock at my door, and by the time I made it down stairs Abby was walking in. There was rage in her eyes.