When Emily was far enough away, Danyael burst out laughing unable to keep it in any longer. “Is that what you call flirting?”
“I was hoping you hadn’t seen that,” I said rubbing my forehead in embarrassment. “Did you have something to say or did you just call me here to mock me?”
“A bit of both,” he said still laughing. “But I do have something to tell you. Let’s go to my office first, I have a spare that probably fits you,” he said pointing to my stained shirt.
I finished the beer in a few quick gulps and followed him. The music faded as we approached his office through a narrow hallway near the back of the building. He unlocked the door and moved a few boxes out of the way.
The small room was a complete mess: papers were piled carelessly on his desk, trash covered most of the floor and the walls were stained with… I didn’t even want to know what. It was enough to make anyone claustrophobic but Danyael somehow didn’t mind.
He dug into a box he kept by the cabinet and threw me one of the black promotional before sitting behind the desk with a large grin stamped on his face. I knew that grin; he had a plan in mind.
“Whatever it is you’re thinking, my answer’s no,” I said changing into the clean shirt.
He lifted his hands over his head in submission. “I didn’t say anything,” he said before bursting into laughter again.
“The shirt’s too tight,” I said taking it off right away
“What the hell? Did you gain weight?” he asked.
“How could I? We never eat. And don’t say that name,” I grumbled looking into the box for a larger shirt. I pulled out a thong with the bar’s logo on it instead. “Really?” I raised an eyebrow. “You have too much time on your hands.”
“Hey, the girls go crazy for them. You should give one to Clumsy Girl,” and he laughed once more almost falling back with his chair.
I shook my head and put on the other shirt. “I guess this will do for now,” I said flattening it. “So, what’s so important that it couldn’t wait until later?”
“Oh, I wanted to show you the new V.I.P. room. It’s finally done.” He smiled, pleased of himself. He had been working on it for three weeks.
“What?” I said raising my voice. “You dragged me all the way down here just for that? You could have showed me on the weekend, I have work to do.”
“Weekend,” He frowned. “What weekend? You work ALL the time. You need to get out of the house once in a while,” he said standing.
“You know I hate coming here.” I said, not amused by any of this.
He playfully punched me on the arm and a low threatening growl escaped me. He smiled, undisturbed by my display.
“I didn’t force you to come here; you did that on your own. Now lighten up and follow me,” he said already walking away.
“I’ll lighten you up,” I muttered under my breath.
He looked at me from over his shoulder and raised an eyebrow. “Is that a challenge?”
“Don’t push your luck,” I said meaning it.
He shook his head and sighed. “Smile… Please.”
I forced a big toothy smile.
“Perfect,” he said with a cringe and continued walking.
He took the time to greet everyone in our path as we crossed to the other side of the dance floor. I stood by silently while he introduced me to random humans whose names I didn’t bother to retain.
“Why do you insist on doing this?” I projected in his mind. “None of these creatures matter to me.”
“Eventually you’ll find that a good network of contacts goes a long way,” he projected back with a wink.
We climbed the steps leading to the V.I.P. area located next to the DJ booth and he removed the velvet rope blocking the way with a proud smile.
The navy blue carpet matched the colour of the walls and lowered ceiling, giving it the feel of a luxurious cave. Tables and chairs were dispersed across the room while white sofas were lined up on the back wall with pod lights hidden behind them, bathing the room in an eerie glow.
The lounge was high enough to overlook most of the bar and the music, thankfully, wasn’t as loud. Danyael sat at a table near the railing just as Cindy came by to hand us two beers.
I took a sip and tried to relax, grateful to be away from the crowd. “I have to admit, it looks great.”
“Thanks,” he said with a widening smile. “I was going for elegance without being too overwhelming. This is slowly coming together. With enough work, this place will always be full and you’ll get your money back in no time.”
“You don’t have to repay me,” I said looking towards the dance floor.
“I know,” he said with a faint smile. “Speaking of money, I found these amazing lights online. Placed just right, they would make lines on the floor that look like a vortex. They would look perfect over the… are you even listening?”
“Hmm?” My focus was completely lost in the hypnotizing stream of energy coming from the dancing crowd below us.
Emily was in the middle of the mass, her eyes closed while her body moved to the rhythm of the music. She was rather appealing for a human. Father was indeed a great artist.
“You like Clumsy Girl don’t you?” he asked, taking me by surprise.
I shrugged and leaned back into the chair. “I wouldn’t go as far as saying I like her.”
“Why don’t you ask her out?”
Asking a human on a date was out of the question. We had been over this subject multiple times before and it never ended well.
“Where did you say you found those lights?” I asked, changing the subject.
“Nice try. Go talk to her. At least this one has a sense of humour,” he said with a smirk.
“How much are they?” I asked ignoring his comment. “Do you even know how to install them or will I find you nicely roasted like the last time you played electrician?”
I smiled at the memory of him nearly burnt to a crisp. He had mixed wires together and learned the hard way that even angels could get electrocuted. He was lucky I had been close enough to heal him on time.
“You’re an ass,” he said narrowing his eyes. “This is the closest you’ve been to a date in... How long has it been again?”
I didn’t answer, refusing to approach this subject. He knew the effect it had on me.
“Look, I’m sure this one won’t try to hurt you… Oh, wait she already did.” He laughed but quickly stopped when he noticed the angry look on my face. “Why won’t you give it a try?”
“You know exactly why.” I reached in my wallet, handed him a blank cheque and returned to my beer.
“What’s this?” He looked at me confused. “Are you trying to buy my silence? Because even you can’t afford that.”
I almost spat beer on the table trying not to laugh. “It’s for the lights,” I said wiping my mouth.
“Oh! Awesome,” he said smiling widely. “You’ll see, I’m going to install them over the DJ booth and aim them in the middle of the dance floor… where the aliens invaded us last week. It was horrible. They landed right by the entrance and asked for green vodka... You’re not listening to me again are you?”
“Sorry. It’s been a long day,” I said rubbing the back of my neck. “Please be careful. I’ll give you the number of the electrician I hired last time.”
Danyael raised an eyebrow. “A long day of what? All you do is stare at a computer all day and I’ll be fine, it’s not that complicated.”
I opened my mouth to argue.
“Alright, alright. Don’t get your panties in a bunch. I’ll call the damn electrician,” he snapped.
I smiled; for once I had won over my stubborn brother.
Silence settled between us. Danyael was probably trying to figure out where his new lights would go while my eyes kept returning to Emily still dancing with her two friends. Warmth moved to my cheeks. I couldn’t tell if it was her or the beer that caused it but quickly dismissed that thought. It had to be the beer. Why would I find a human attractive?
“It’s not the beer,” said Danyael from across the table.
“Don’t spy on my thoughts,” I projected to him through our telepathic link, one of Father’s gifts to all angels.
“Guard them better then,” he projected back with a shrug.
Cindy came by to pick up our empty bottles. “It’s nice to see you Shawn. You should visit us more often,” she said with an odd smile. All I could feel was the lust seeping out of her.
“Next time we move, remind me to pick an ugly disguise,” I projected to my brother who chuckled in response.
A strange thought came through my mind as she put the bottles on her serving tray. I hesitated, but impulse quickly took over.
“Can I ask you for a favour when you have a moment?” I asked leaning forward.
“Of course, I always have time for you hun. What will it be?” She leaned closer as I whispered something that shrunk her smile. She paused for a short moment before continuing. “That’s… cute. Ok, I’ll do that right away.”
I sat back and ignored Danyael‘s confused look. What I did had two purposes; one, to get Cindy to back off and second… I still don’t know what came over me.
Cindy disappeared behind the counter and came back with two pitchers of beer and a bowl of peanuts on her serving tray. She worked her way through the crowd and placed everything in the middle of Emily’s table.
“Here you go, from the boss himself.” She said before rapidly going back to work without saying another word or even glancing my way.
Emily looked at us and shyly waved a thank you. I dipped my head in reply still unsure of why I had done such a thing. Guilt?
“It’s not guilt; you have heart.” Danyael said patting me on the back. “It only took you what? A thousand years to bounce back from the last one.” He laughed and sat back in his chair.
“Not here,” I whispered shooting him an angry look.
He shook his head and motioned around us. “The music’s too loud, no one can hear us.”
“And how are you so sure of that?” I said letting rage seep through my voice.
My eyes narrowed dangerously and the air around us chilled. He looked me square in the eyes with an alarmed look. The sudden drop in temperature allowed his breath to become visible for a brief second before he managed to counter my energy outburst.
“Are you insane?” he projected. “You complain about me saying something wrong and then you do this. Do you want to be discovered?”
“Why not? You seem to want us to.” I projected back to him. “If they use enhancing spells, there is a small possibility that hunters can hear us.”
His eyebrows met and he pushed me out of his mind.
“All it takes is a whisper,” I said out loud.
“Whatever,” he said waving me off to finish his beer quietly.