The guy was a picture of misery, slumped against the filthy brick, cradling his injured arm and licking at the blood on his lip. He spat and swore, moaned as the movement caused his broken bones to scrape together.
David waited. So did her victim - not wanting to move until he was sure she'd gone. His eyes kept flicking to the slice of street visible at the entrance of the alley, nervously licking again and again at his lip. David waited until the moment the man made up his mind to stand, then he allowed himself to be seen.
He wanted to laugh at the guy's expression, couldn't help but smile.
"What the fuck are you staring at?" the waiter hissed, spraying blood. "Call an ambulance! I was attacked!" Drops of his blood, mixed with spit, fell onto David's shirt.
"She did some nice work there," David said. "I approve. Proof's a funny thing, isn't it? You see, I saw it all. An eye-witness. You'd think I'd give a statement, wouldn't you, out of civic duty? But when did such as you take a case to any court? Where proofs are every day buried under lies so deep that they themselves become tarnished, corrupted, distorted mirrors that can never reflect the truth."
"Shit, you're insane!" the waiter said and looked as if he wished he'd bitten his tongue. He heaved himself up painfully, trying to keep his weight off his hurt leg, and tried to push by but David placed both his hands on the bricks, one each side, trapping him. "Let me go!"
"No," David grinned.
"You're with her!" the waiter yelped, he slumped back scared, flinching away. Shana had already beaten all bravado out of him and he uttered no threats, only stared, pleading. "Let me go, please." Rain began to fall softly, large drops that darkened the ground. A drop landed on the pup-waiter's nose and rolled down. In it David could see his own reflection.
"No," he said. "I'm not with her. Never was and never will be. Look at me." His voice was soft now, gentle as the rain, his breath a caress. "Look at me."
The waiter looked. He looked and moaned and tears appeared in his eyes, bloody beads that coursed down his cheeks, His pupils contracted into tiny points and as he opened his mouth to scream David clamped his hand there.
"Hush now, don't be afraid. You're going home. You want to go home don't you?" With his other hand he stroked the thick black hair, wound a lock around his finger. "Just nod."
"No no no..." the guy moaned when David took his hand away. "I can't see."
"What do you need to see? You're going home my friend. Home."
"Just say it. Say you want to go home."
"Please," the guy begged, sightless eyes streaming. His mouth was wet and his tongue slurred the words. "I just want to go home."
"You're already there," David told him, placing his free hand over the guy's heart. The man dropped, shuddered and was still. "You're already there. Satisfaction guaranteed."
He stood over the body, studying the face. His skin darkened, his cheekbones widened and flattened, eyes changing from hazel to dark brown as his nose reshaped itself and a few more years dropped away.
David left the alley, now the pup-waiter's twin. In his pocket he carried the guy's wallet. The cards inside had given him a name. James Henry Yu. It would do for a while.Right now he needed to get after her. But it hadn't taken long and she would not have gone far.