Back in our apartment, Sylus sat brooding on the couch while I sat in a chair idly playing my guitar. Even though my music filled the air, there was something uncomfortable about the remaining silence. It was clear we both had things we wanted to say so I went first.
“So what’s going on with you?”
“You don’t usually go after clients like that.”
“Did I do something to upset you?”
“No. I just want to know what’s on your mind.”
He leaned forward, clasping his hands in his lap. “She’s hiding something.”
“Is it relevant to us?”
“What do you think it is?”
“I’m not sure, but I know there’s something she’s not telling us and regardless of what it is, I think it’s vastly important to our investigation.”
“How can you be so sure?” I continued playing my guitar.
“I’m not 100% certain, so call it a really strong hunch.”
“And what gave you this idea?”
“Small things. The way she spoke and moved. She’s being dishonest about something.”
“So what is our next course of action, then?”
“We do what she told us to.”
I stopped playing and clapped my hand over the crystalline strings. “Sylus.”
“I know. It’s well outside our usual perview, but if we want to handle this job, we have to go along with it.”
“Do you have any idea what we’re looking for?”
“Something powerful, but beyond that, I have nothing more than hunches.”
“Then we’ll circle back to this later.”
“Hm.” Sylus grumbled before sitting back.
I put my guitar down next to my chair before moving to sit beside him. “Why don’t you go take a bath and relax a bit? Soak a bit.” I patted him on the back. “Might be good for your tentacles.”
He sighed. “They’re fine. I’m fine.”
“No you’re not. You may not have muscles, but it’s pretty clear you’re really tense.”
He turned to me with a tired look on his face.
I squeezed his thigh. “Go take a bath.”
He leaned in and kissed me gently on the lips. “I’d rather just go to bed with you.” He breathed. God I love the way he smelled.
“Go take a damn bath!” I shoved him away playfully. “I’ll be in bed waiting, okay?”
With a sigh, he finally stood up. “Fine.” He sighed as he threw his hands in the air and made his way to the bathroom.
I sat on the couch and listened for a while until I could hear the water start running. Knowing Sylus, he’d probably spend the night in the tub and we both knew it. He was a semi-aquatic creature after all.
Once I heard him get into the tub, I headed into the bedroom. It really was too much for my taste, but at least it was relatively comfortable shelter. Something we rarely had between jobs and even then, some work didn’t house us. A blood mage and a spawn pose a high risk to a lot of people who don’t know any better. They think we’re all chaotic nutters like our less-than-savory counterparts. Humans rejected Sylus and spawns rejected me. It was a lose lose situation out there. For the most part, anyway. It’s not like we were the only mage and humanized spawn in existence, but traveling together made us a less than savory combination to most people. If anyone found out Sylus was actually a Lord, well, we’d probably never get work again.
I stripped down to my underwear and flopped down on the bed. I groaned a bit as I pressed my face into one of the myriad of pillows. I wasn’t sure if Sylus would be joining me, but I left him room just in case.
“6am.” I muttered to myself. I rolled onto my back. “We haven’t even negotiated a price yet.” I rubbed my eyes with the heels of my hands. “This is ridiculous.”
Dropping my hands flat to my sides, I stared at the doorway listening for any sign of Sylus coming to bed. Just as I was finally starting to doze off, I could hear the tub begin to drain. I tried to strike a natural resting position and pretend to be asleep.
He entered the room without a sound. For as large as he was, he could be quieter than death sometimes. He preferred to give off a lumbering impression, but in reality he was incredibly delicate and graceful. It used to unnerve me how quiet he could be, right down to halting his breathing and barely giving off any sign of life. It wasn’t like he needed to breathe in the first place. Not like humans did anyway. He respirated through his exposed tentacles. His physical breathing was a remnant of his humanity. One of the small things he just couldn’t stop doing.
“I see you.” His voice rumbled from his chest.
I kept my eyes closed as I fought back a smile.
I could feel his weight the second he touched the bed. I was asleep. I couldn’t say or do anything. Until I felt his body press up against mine. I cried out in surprise as he wrapped his arms around me, holding me tightly against him.
“Should I set an alarm?” I mumbled.
“No.” He kissed me softly on the cheek. “We’ll be fine.”
I rolled over to face him. “And what if we’re not?”
“Then we’re late for our second day of work.”
“That’s a bad impression isn’t it?”
He shrugged. “Telvas can send us away at any time and I wouldn’t particularly care.”
I raised a brow.
“I don’t like this place.” He mumbled as he nuzzled his face into my neck.
“I know.” I ran my fingers through his hair. “I know.”