I whirled around and stormed back over to the coffee table to begin to pack up my work. “Whatever! Keep the frickin’ laptop! I have back-ups of my work and diaries stored in the Circulate Mainframe on Taurus Six anyways.”
I was so angry, my hands were shaking again as my nose started to run. I wasn’t crying, but I didn’t want it to look like I was either. I struggled to pack up my research coherently that I didn’t notice Declan walk up behind to hold out my laptop.
Annoyed, I snatched it back and carried it and the rest of my work over to one of my shelves where I kept the majority of my academic work. Considering I had been doing this for over a century, I had several bookshelves which took up the whole wall. The shelves which held my husband’s novels and large music collection, sat on the other side of the room.
As I started to put my books away in alphabetical order, Declan came up behind to try to wrap his arms about my shoulders.
“No!” I shrugged him off and after a moment I said sulkily, “You haven’t paid my pimp the hourly rate yet.”
“Oh yeah? And what’s that?”
“A million credits.”
This made him snicker back, “You must be better than Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’ then.”
“Maybe if she was a barren prostitute she would have earned that much. We have a pretty good union you know.”
“I guess so,” he humorously went along, “do you also have medical insurance?”
“My pimp manages that.”
“OK, who is this guy so I know who to kill by ripping out their hearts via their throats?”
“Why do you presume it’s a guy?”
“So you have a ‘madam’ then and not a pimp?” I paused in my shelving to give a funny look, wondering how the hell would he know the correct terminology? He said coolly, “You’re not the only one who can read a book you know.”
“Yes, I do have a ‘madam’ and she’s very cross with you for offending her worker.” I turned away again.
“Then would your ‘madam’ mind if I offered not only my apology, but also reparations for this gross offence?”
A smile escaped when he said that, but I said breezily, “You would have to pay the million credits first.”
I watched him pull out his wallet from his back pocket then his credit card appeared before my face.
Indignantly, I snatched it from him as I said, “You don’t have a million credits!”
“After slaving away at the Garage for over a century, I’m a quarter of the way there. I was saving the money for another holiday for my wife, just don’t tell her that.”
“Oh.” I tried not to show his words affected me as I handed back his card. “I heard your wife has some money of her own.”
“My wife is one of the smartest people I know and she’s well-regarded in her field.” He said proudly. “Which is why it makes me angry when people act in a demeaning way towards her, or she demeans herself to strangers.”
“So you’re here soliciting hookers instead of lying with your wife?” I asked curtly.
He watched me walk into the kitchen to check the pantry to see if there was another jar of Nutella, before he said, “I was actually hoping to solicit your services as a surprise for my wife.”
“It doesn’t sound like a nice surprise.”
“Yeah well, she’s difficult to please.” He followed me into the other room. “She’s feisty as hell and more inflexible than a plank of wood.”
“So why do you want me for your wife, to buy a three-way or something?” I asked crassly.
He frowned at the idea, “Look lady you seem attractive and all, but my wife and I don’t swing that way. Besides, I don’t think you’d live through a night with my wife AND me.”
I tried not to snicker before I closed the pantry door, with my search unsuccessful in finding any more Nutella. It was then Declan walked over to the medicine cupboard above the fridge and opened it up. He reached behind the vitamins and painkillers to pull out a hidden jar.
My eyes widened in surprise, “How long have you been hiding THAT for?”
“Two months.” He shrugged. “It’s my emergency supply for when my wife experiences her famous mood swings thanks to PMS. I need something to placate her between hunting on a full moon. Her tantrums can even bring a European Werewolf to heal.”
I threw him a withering glare as I tried to take the jar off him but he held it away.
“Nah ah!” He shook his head. “This is a business transaction, is it not?”
“Why? What do you want?” I folded my arms defiantly.
“I’ll give you my emergency stash of Nutella instead of the credits, if you’ll do something to my wife for me.” He said firmly.
“Hit her over the head with a shovel and bury her in your back yard?” I asked dryly.
“Not quite.” He pretended to look tempted by the offer. “I will pay you to walk up to my wife and say something to her. You see, I’m hoping that if this comes from a complete stranger she might start to believe it. She certainly doesn’t listen to her husband.”
I looked on impatiently as my foot began to tap the floor.
He continued, “I will pay you in Nutella if you will walk up to my wife and say just five words to her. You’ll have to put your hands on her shoulders like this…” he demonstrated by making me face him, “…and you look her right in the eye,” next he did this too, “and you say to Bianca Sabre, ‘you’re more than worth it’.”
I said unimpressed, “What kind of hokey, shampoo-commercial, message is that?”
“Alright you can say this instead, ‘I would fight every single Asian Werewolf in existence because you’re worth it’.”
My broken heart started to superglue itself back together, but I battled myself not to smile. “That’s longer than five words.”
He chuckled, “Yeah I know, but she’s generally not pedantic with numbers so it should be fine.”