Whale Song - Page 6

"Fair enough, Gordon it is," she said with a conciliatory smile, then looked down at her still extended hand.

I took it, doing my best to not enjoy the feeling of her touch too much.

I failed.

"I take it then that your purpose here is greater than merely 'getting your rocks off?'" she asked with what she thought was a knowing smile.

"Yes," I answered, trying not to sound stiff.

I failed at that too.

"I hope so," she said, soft laughter in her voice. "Otherwise I'm going to start feeling personally slighted."

"Don't," I grimly assured her. "You're clearly the one I was looking for." I tightened my grip on her hand to a painful level. "I wish you weren't," I added with a heartfelt sigh, "but I'll live with it. I always do."

She was quick on the uptake, I'll give her that. One moment she was smiling at me, the next moment she wasn't, and a surge of force intend to knock me backwards radiated outward from her. She only looked surprised when her defensive measures didn't do any more to me than muss my hair.

"You really don't know who I am, do you?" I asked rhetorically.

"Well . . . I know you're not Mr. Average Rapist," she said softly. "And I'm kind of hoping it's not too late to talk about this."

"It is," I told her, letting my regret about that be heard in my voice. "And I'm not going to rape you."

She looked at me sadly. "Said that way, that does not make me feel any better."

"Look," I sighed. "This job is easier when what I'm stopping is being done with forthought and malice, and not by some stupid 'New Ager' innocently stirring up something from one of the 'Old Ages' best left forgotten, but either way that doesn't make what you've been doing any less dangerous. I promise I won't kill you if I don't have to, but . . ."

If there's a good way to finish that sentence, I for one, have never found it.

Page 6

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