Special events security guard spends time with someone who is--supernaturally--a born victim. Her very presence instigates violence.
"Wrap it up and tie it down," I pressed my mic. "stick a fork in it, 'cause this gig is done."
It had been a small rave, an easy one with only a couple of problems. The alcohol and ecstasy had been fairly discreet and the police hadn't come by. The promoters kept things low-key and when I made decisions, they backed me. You couldn't have asked for a better night. I'd sent almost everyone home. Just me and Stevens remained.
Outside, the sky was just starting to hint at lightening. Several cold, thin fingers of clouds paled to a watery cyan in the East. If I timed it right, I figured I could be in bed before rush-hour traffic started in for the city.
"Cal, You wanna come by the front." Stevens' low rumble came across the radio. "We got something."
Stevens was an enormous black man who I'd kept on the front door. He had tribal scaring on his arms and a scar that ran across his eye, making him look like he'd been through his own wars. He was as gentle as they came--the kind of gentle that only comes from a man who knows he doesn't have anything to prove.
I rounded the corner, and found Stevens guarding a young Japanese girl in a red raincoat. A little blond guy with spiky hair and jeans sagging around his knees thrust a finger in Steven's chest. He had dried blood all over the front of his face.
"You think it's so simple?" the blond practically foamed at the mouth. "I damned well fought them off, man. Nobody--I mean nobody does that. You just don't screw with people that way. You think I wanted to do that? Hell no!. But I did it for her. She's gotta know someone's lookin' out for her. they'd have damned well torn her in two--in two!"
Stevens glanced up at me, his expression long-suffering. His eyes flicked to the side and I understood what he wanted.
I walked past him, pretending to ignore them, and opened the front door to the building, tested the lock.
"I mean, who the hell does that kinda thing? You might go beating someone up cause you like their girl, but she didn't do crap. They were gonna do her, man! They were gonna do her, right there in the middle of the god-damned floor!"
I stepped to the side, leaned in over the girl trying hard not to frighten her. "Ma'am, You want to step inside?" She nodded, her eyes wide.
Stevens took a step to the side as I escorted the girl through the doors. He blocked blondie's view pretty well.
"So, I did what was right. I'm a god-damned hero is what I am. I deserve a god-damned medal. You think I don't?"
Stevens took a step toward blond, "Your pupils are real big, son. You taken anything tonight? I don't want you driving."
"Yeah, screw dat. We're waiting on a taxi. Gotta make sure she's safe. A Man's gotta protect his prop--"
I latched the door and turned around. "My guy outside. He seemed to think you're in some risk." I looked her up and down.
She was waifishly thin. She wore a tight little red and black Lolita dress that showed off her stick-thin legs. There was blood on her clavicle, but it didn't look like she was injured. She was just cold, maybe, and wet. Scared too.
She was the kind of girl that just screamed to be protected. Made you want to tell her everything would be all right. "You want to tell me what's going on?"