From my slumber I was pulled by the unmistakable whirring noise of a hovering engine. It was instinct that had me rolling from the blanket, my hand having swiped the Fichetti from beneath my pillow and shooting the drone from the air before my eyes had fully opened.
As the small elliptical metal bot crashed to my floor I realized my mistake with an audible, “Frack.”
Through the studs that separated what would be our bedrooms I saw Wesley take shape as he emerged from the darkness, “R-ren-ie?”
“I’m good. Wes. I’m good.” I scowled at the remains of the construction bot from my tangle of blanket and thought of the old fashioned telephone I already owed Blondie for, “Shit’s gotta stop waking me up if it wants to stay workin’.” I grumbled over my embarrassment. Thank goodness for the silencer or I’d have the whole crew here in my makeshift room wanting to know what was going on.
Wesley didn’t hesitate, his surefooted pace carrying him to the pile of me and my bedding. In his hand he held a tomahawk and tucked beneath his arm was a jacket that as he dropped on the floor beside me. Wordlessly, he folded down to the ground and tucked the jacket beneath his head like a pillow. I knew he’d sleep there, at my feet for the rest of the night, just has he’d done several times in the past. A bodyguard before this life of running, Wesley instinctively sought to protect me and I didn’t contest his urges. With the movement of a cloudbank, the glint of his tomahawk in the moonlight that poured through the floor to ceiling windows in my room was oddly comforting.
I laid back in the sheets and added a rough estimate for the cost of that bot to the tally that I already had going in my head. I was starting to accrue a considerable debt to Blondie that left me more than a little unnerved. I pretended that this was the reason I couldn’t get back to sleep and not the lack of a familiar set of arms and a broad chest to snuggle up against.
The room continued to lighten with the rising of the sun and those windows that had encouraged me to take this room were now the reason for inability to catch more sleep. I rose with a fluid grace that had been ingrained in me after years of training. Stealthily stepping around the dwarf to allow him to continue his gentle snores.
I needed to pee, and as of right now, there were only two bathrooms in this place. Eventually we’d get our own private bathrooms in our rooms but that kind of construction took time. It probably took more time when someone was shooting down your construction drones. Wrapping my sheet around me I moved silently through the cavernous open space we were planning on leaving that way. The studs for each of the bedrooms had been placed and in a few places there was already sheetrock. They’d probably actually have been walled off for some semblance of privacy already had I not sidetracked Blondie’s crews. It was far more important to me that we get the showers installed in the main restroom. After dealing with icy cold meager showers at the clocktower for the last dragon knows how long, I wasn’t about to take over a new living quarters without the luxury of hot water.
Through the studs I could see their sleeping forms: My boys. In the privacy of my own thoughts I had stopped struggling with how I’d come to view them. Mav, Shane, and Eagle. Somehow, somewhere along the line I’d grown attached to them. I’d claimed them as my own and I didn’t need a psych degree to wonder how much of this surrogate maternal instinct was tied to the loss of my own son.
Thankfully, this didn’t translate into an urge to go tuck anybody in or anything BTLbrained like that. But, I couldn’t deny the reality of my desire to see them safe or to help clean up their messes. I stopped outside of the studs that separated Shane from Eagle.
Eagle’s newfound love of gambling was going to translate into a massive disaster, of this, I had no doubts. And Shane.
I didn’t know how to fight spirits. Other than to spray that shit with bullets and hope for the best. He seemed better. In fact, he’d been rather chipper for his usual snide self. I winced as I remembered sniping at him and stealing from him the short sense of peace our stop gag measure had provided Patty. Dumb kid. He had to know that stuffing that spirit in her brother was not going to end well for us.
At least when we exorcised it from that jackwagon I wouldn’t feel bad about killing him. We’d just have to make sure Patty never found out Shane’s hand in all of it, or that would be a load of drek he wouldn’t be crawling out of.
I really did need to get a move on finding him that new spirit advisor so that this shit didn’t happen again. I’d put out a few calls and Spence seemed to think he had a lead on one that would suit but honestly what did he know about mag? Thinking about it made me impulsive and as I pushed off the stud I’d been leaning against I put in a call on my comms.
“Spence, go ahead.” His gruff voice announced.
“Good morning, Daddy Payne…” I purred and felt a delighted surge of pleasure at the hitched pause that followed. What had started as a joke had become one of my favorite little games. It was even better in person when I could see the spear of uncomfortable lust sharpen his gaze before he gruffly tamped it down and moved on.
He’d stopped asking me what I needed. I’d taught him a valuable lesson the last time. I was more than willing to follow up the Daddy with a list of needs that he could fulfill if he were feeling interested. Now he just said my name. I hadn’t pointed out to him that he’d stopped calling me Sateen or that the way he said my name was an adrenaline spike of pleasure.
“How’s that search for Stallion’s new mentor going?” I launched into business as if I weren’t waking him from slumber first thing in the morning just to catch him at a vulnerable state of mind.
“I tol’ ye I’ve got’a lead. I’ll get’details to ye when the job yer doin’ is done.”
“We might not want to wait on that.” And I filled him a bit on the spirit possession of his girlfriend and the temporary housing we’d placed it in.
It was an unhappy Spence that sighed off on his disconnect as I finished stripping down and left my pile of clothes and gun on the sawhorse just outside the finished showers. The room was large, a communal tiled shower with multiple heads and a few separating stall walls that left feet and heads visible. Twisting the handles to near scalding I stepped in with a happy moan of delight. I’d kill plenty of assholes for hot water. When I thought of the bill this place was wracking up I realized I would indeed be killing plenty of more assholes to pay for it all.
I pushed the dispenser and scowled in as I realized one of the first things I was going to have to pay for was fucking soap.