Well. It finally happened. I hope she's pleased with herself, the dark hunter snarls inwardly to himself as he thinks back to the other night when he and Ellie had been sitting at the dinner table, thoroughly enjoying the baked salmon and rice pilaf that she'd prepared for them. The young woman knew how much Lazarus loved salmon, and the way that she seasoned it just perfectly with lemon pepper and a touch of lemon juice... It had been delicious. Almost better than whiskey or one-night stands. If she made him choose between her salmon recipes and drinking, the man might actually take a turn for the sober life if such a threat were ever a valid one. He knew that his little sister would never force him into such a position, though. This was the one time that the man was very much content to take advantage of the sweet woman's warm and gentle demeanor. While the rest of the world would hardly believe Lazarus capable of getting his way with his little sister without being a complete and total asshole, there was actually an ever so rare side to the man that could apply just the right touches to convince her into preparing his favorite meal. All it took for Ellie to practically go racing down the streets to the local market where they sold the freshest salmon and cook up enough that he could practically make himself sick from gorging was an actual smile instead of his typical wolfish grin or smirk that he so often wore. And when he actually offered to help around the house, maybe even show a more... playful and softer side that he always ensured Donovan or anyone else wasn't around to see, that was the icing on the cake, the biggest weapon he had in convincing Ellie to make his favorite food. So, the man had a few tricks up his sleeve, but what he refused to admit to was that ever since Vhalla and the night that they'd slept together on the couch when he'd had to help her get back to the warehouse, there was something... different about him. And he hated it.
Even Ellie seemed to have her suspicions that something in the man's life had shifted. The biggest tip-off that his little sister was onto something was the fact that this time, when he'd come down from the second level of their townhouse showered with caramel-colored locks in their usual messy fashion after his evening shower he would indulge himself in, she'd had that perfectly seasoned and cooked salmon on the table waiting for him. He hadn't asked her, hadn't had to do anything in exchange like take out the trash or help vacuum the second level of their home. He hadn't done a thing.... Instantly, his mouth had begun to water at the meal as he went to sit there in his usual place and he was almost content to simply ignore the fact that she'd gone ahead and surprised him with one of his absolute favorite things. Almost. Then, Ellie had gone over to the cabinet where he kept his bottles of whiskey and rum and poured him a glass over ice like she knew he enjoyed, and that was what had the dark hunter eyeing his little sister suspiciously."Since when do you actually serve me whiskey with my dinner?", he'd asked almost warily, having been clearly onto whatever it was she might be expecting in return. She'd given him that bright smile before sitting herself down across the table with her own glass containing the sparkling apple cider that Lazarus knew she enjoyed. That smile had been almost too innocent for the man's liking."Can I not decide to change things up a little?", she'd said then as she took a sip of her drink. He'd given her a suspicious "hmm", but asked nothing more. The siblings had eaten in calm silence for most of the meal, before finally he found out what she was really up to."You know, I was thinking... You really should look for a part-time job. Maybe even tomorrow. You've been acting a little strange lately, I think you could use something to keep busy", she'd said as she collected the empty plates and dirty dishes. Just like a Daray, she had her own ways of getting Lazarus to do what she wanted, and that tone she'd spoken in told the man that this time, it wasn't a suggestion. This time, it was her practically telling him that he needed to, and knowing that she would only continue to insist if he refused her that night was enough for the man to begrudgingly agree to go job hunting.
It hadn't taken him long, and in truth, he'd hardly expected to encounter the fae woman just last night while he was in The Voodoo Room seeing if perhaps they were interested in taking on another bartender. He figured that his affinity for liquor as well as his knowledge of the many different mixed drinks and recipes would have made it easy for him to find an open position at one of the many bars and clubs in Sacrosanct. Plus, if he could land a job as a bartender in one of the more up-scale establishments where the more monetarily inclined had a tendency of frequenting, the tips wouldn't be half bad. Especially if he could fawn over a pretty face or two... or several. Not that it even really mattered anymore, Lazarus slowly beginning to find that his appetite for those late-night romps between the sheets with a perfect stranger just weren't... satisfying anymore. Not like they were months ago... Not since Vhal. And with his temporary remedies seeming to have little effect on his memory of how she tasted, how she smelled, how she felt, Ellie was probably right. He needed something else. Anything else that might just prove to help him forget about her for a little while. Of course, he'd never admit that to the honey-blonde woman, but something told Lazarus that she was already far too close to figuring things out and arguing was only going to make him look like he was in denial of something, like he was trying to hide something. Which he was, but she didn't need to know that. Yet, instead of finding a job as a bartender, he'd been approached by a fae woman. It couldn't have been clearer from the black velvet evening gown she'd been wearing that she was one of those high-class women, and when she'd offered him a job as part of her security for her residence in Acosta Heights, the dark hunter had refused at first. But then, she'd made him an offer that he couldn't refuse... and so now, here he was, walking down those impeccably maintained laws and gated mansions for his first day on the job.
Miss Lovelace hadn't said anything about a particular dress code, or even bothered to give him a run-down of exactly what it was his duties would entail, but she'd promised to give him more information when he arrived. She'd given her number and address, even told him that if he were truly interested in what she could give him as pay, then he would need to be there at ten o'clock in the morning. Which in and of itself was a feat, the dark hunter hardly ever the sort to be an early riser. But, Ellie had been more than prepared to make sure that he was up in time for his first day. That had been the first mistake he'd made upon returning home the night before. He really should have just told her he hadn't found anything or maybe just lied about what time he needed to be at Vitani's mansion. But no, he'd decided to be up front with her just to keep her from asking anything else he wasn't interested in answering. And so, the man walks down the well-maintained streets in those relax-fit faded blue jeans, white cotton t-shirt, and his usual black zip-up hooded jacket. With the that hood draped over those messy caramel locks and black aviators concealing those dark forest eyes, he continues at his typical leisurely pace, knowing that he would arrive on time, if not even a minute or two earlier than he was expected. Strong hands shoved into the pocket of the jacket, he finally finds the location, a single brow lifting as he studied the mansion in front of him. Oh yeah, she has money, that's for sure. Letting himself in through the gate that barricaded the stairs leading up to the front door, he ascends up the small flight of cold concrete and knocks on that large wooden door. He's hardly left waiting their long when a pretty little brunette maid opens the door and steps aside."Miss LoveLace will be with you in a moment", she says quietly in a mousy little voice. He regards her for a moment as he steps through the doorway, giving her a small nod before stopping to stand there in the entryway. He removes those sunglasses from his face and tucks them into his jacket pocket, dark forest eyes taking in the area, eyeing the odd sculpture on the pedestal to his left and the abstract painting on the far wall down the tiled hallway past those perfectly polished stairs as he waited for the platinum blonde woman to meet him there and issue her first matter of business.
LAZARUS WOLFE DARAY
image by Andrew robles