“Would you like breakfast?” Seymour asked abruptly. “I’m not much of a chef, but I could cook you an egg, if you’d like. Or porridge. And I think I have bread in the cupboard. It might be a bit moldy, though.”
“I think I’ll pass for now. You’re welcome to eat without me, though.”
“Yeah, I’m fucking starving.”
He stood up, lifting Henry up with him, then set him on his feet, pushed back his bangs, and kissed him on the forehead.
“You’re stronger than you look,” said Henry.
Seymour paused a moment, debating how to respond, and decided to take it as a compliment. “Thanks. I guess. I’ll just…” He glanced up, and his gaze happened to pass over the window. There was a familiar dark shape in it, blurred by the warped glass. Sighing, he did his best to shake it from his mind. “I’ll just make myself breakfast, then. Would you like more tea?”
After pouring Henry a second cup of tea, the merman located the half-eaten loaf of bread on the top shelf of the cupboard and unwrapped it. A little bit fuzzy, he noted, but not too bad. He considered tearing off a chunk with his hands as he normally did, but it occurred to him that this might not appear very civilized. Then he remembered that his bread knife was somewhere in the stack of unwashed dishes that sat decomposing on the counter, and he figured that civility was probably a lost cause at this point. He ripped off a handful of bread and sat back down at the table with it.
Seymour took a bite and turned the bread over in his hand. “I mean, I would prefer lobster, sautéed in butter and garlic, with a sprig of greenery on the top, but I’m poor, y’know. And I can’t cook.”
“I’m sorry I asked.”
“Oooohhh,” Seymour moaned, dropping the remainder of his meal on the table and rolling his eyes up toward the ceiling. “What I would give for some fish right now!”
“Are you all right, Seymour?”
“And shrimp! Octopus! Oysters!” He ran his tongue along his lips to collect the drool leaking from the corners of his mouth. “Ugh, Henry! Will you buy me some seafood? You can deduct it from my paycheck.”
“Henry, I’m desperate! My body isn’t built for these land victuals. They give me constipation.”
Henry choked on his tea.
“Very well.” The mage stood up. “Where are we going?”
Seymour leapt to his feet and was at the door in the blink of an eye, stepping into his boots and fastening his cloak. “Fishmarket. East Pendient Street. They open at six. If we hurry, we can get there while they’re still fresh n’ floppin’. C’mon!”