"I don't want to leave you yet." He admits "would you like to stop by my place and deliver your treats?" He keeps glancing at me.
"Of course. I like your brother." I say honestly.
"Ya, you guys are going to give me trouble." He says with a laugh.
"Definitely. But it's good for you." I say patting his hand. He grabs onto my hand and holds it for the rest of the trip causing more warm fuzzy feelings in my chest.
We pull up to a cabin surrounded by trees. This must be perfect to hide their shifts. We walk up to the door and we are greeted by the smell of burning.
"Porter?" Nevan calls.
"God damn it! Hey bro! How was your date? You get lucky?" He asks from the kitchen.
"Not with that attitude!" I yell back laughing.
"Shit! Sorry Rowena." Porter calls and I feel an apologetic squeeze of my hand.
"All good. What are you making?" I ask as we move to the kitchen.
"I was aiming for spaghetti but something clearly went wrong." He says letting out a long suffering sigh.
"Would you like some help?" I offer.
"Yes! God yes!" Porter says stepping away from the stove. I step in and start correcting what went wrong.
"This will go good with the scones. Would you grab them out of my bag Nevan?" I ask as I add ingredients to the sauce.
"Sure." I hear him rifle through my bag and pull out the giant bag of scones."Jesus, you weren't kidding about there being a lot."
"Sweet lord. Those smell amazing." Porter drools.
"You should taste one. They are amazing." Nevan commends as I blush. "Also, Rowena, why do you have brass knuckles in your bag?"
"Why shouldn't I carry brass knuckles in my bag?" I challenge. "I also have some knives in there too. Feel free to check out my mobile armory." I say stirring the sauce. I hear them whispering back and forth.
"If you won't I will!" Porter says and takes my bag. I chuckle as i hear him curse. "Jesus Ro! Are you going to war? Why do you need all this?"
"First of all, I was raised and trained by a Lamia. This is traveling light. Second, I am constantly surrounded by people who are bigger and stronger and faster than I am and not every supe I run across thinks I'm more than a plaything. I mean just last night some fae asshole tried to force me into leaving a restaurant with him." I shrug.
"He what?" Comes from Nevan in a deadly voice.
"Oh calm down I'm obviously fine. Cedar, the bartender helped me out." I say adding pasta to the water waving off his worry. "But that's why. I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it."
"Hold up! You mean you know how to use these too?" Porter asks incredulously.
"Yep. And then some." I smile. "I told you, you should see me fight. Papa Luca trained me for the last ten years. We still train together."
"Doesn't Luca call you mouse? I meant to ask about that." Nevan asks. I laugh, it does sound bad for a snake man to call his daughter mouse.
"Ya. But its not quite how he means it. Have you heard that you're not supposed to put live mice in with pet snakes?" They both shake their heads. "It's because snakes don't have to eat as often and the mouse will actually start to eat the snake. Papa Luca enjoys my dichotomy. Small and harmless looking but I'm not. That's why he calls me mouse." I turn to them and there is a wild look in Porters eyes and a stunned look in Nevan's.
"Will you fight me?!" Asks Porter eagerly.
"You're not fighting my mate!" Nevan says shoving him.
"It's just a sparring round! I want to see a what a mouse can do!" He says grinning. I sigh.
"Fine, but after dinner" I say and he nods.
"You don't have to." Nevan says.
"I know. But to be honest I'm always fighting against my parents or Gemma this will be fun for me." I shrug. "Even if I lose I'll learn something."
"...ok." he says unsure.
"Would you like a second opinion?" I ask. He nods carefully but I'm not really offended I know how it sounds. I regularly use it to my advantage. I pull out my phone and call Papa Luca as Porter leaves the room.
"Hey mouse how's your date going?"
"Hey papa. It's going great I'm just making dinner for Nevan and his brother. But they found my weapons in my bag and Nevan is concerned. Would you mind helping me out?"
"Of course. Put him on the phone." I hand Nevan the phone.
"Hello sir." Nevan says. "Oh... really?...well my brother wants to spar with her... he's a dragon and she's all excited... oh, ok... alright, if you're sure... ok thank you sir.... here she is." He hands my phone back to me smiling.
"Hey papa. Thank you."
"No problem mouse. Knock him dead. Enjoy your date."
"Thank you papa. Love you. Bye." We hang up.
"You beat a Lamia?!" Nevan shouts.
"He says I did I'm still not convinced he didn't hold back though." I admit. "Would you mind shredding some cheese?"
"She what?!" I hear Porter coming in. "This is going to be so much fun!" I laugh at his excitement.
I strain the pasta and rinse it before bringing out plates and quickly dishing up servings of pasta with scones on the side. We all sit down and enjoy our meal.
"What's that on your shoulder?" Asks Porter. Shit. I forgot that I was wearing a tank top.
"Oh some of my scars." I say.
"Some?" He says with a crooked eyebrow.
"Yes. From before I was adopted." I say quietly. He gets up and leaves the house. "Is he OK?" I ask Nevan.
"He's sensitive about this kind of stuff. His last job was as a social worker. It was hard for him to know about things happening but not being able to do anything for the kids." I nod understanding. I get up to follow and notice Nevan's smile. Pride gleaming in his gaze. I smile back and kiss his cheek.
I make my way to the backyard and I see a massive gold dragon outside the door. I walk out to him.
"Hey big guy." I say so I don't scare him. He huffs. "You ok?" He turns his big head towards me and knocks me on my butt so I'm sitting next to him. He lays his head beside me and huffs again.
"I'm ok. You know." I tell him. "I'm happy and live a good life now. I made sure of it." I say as I stroke his snout. "Do you want to fight this out? It helps me sometimes. Thats why Papa Luca started teaching me. To give me some power back." He looks at me for a minute and huffs as he gets up. I get up off the ground too and wait for him to shift. I notice Nevan on the back porch watching us.
All of a sudden I feel movement to my left Porter has started with a messy tackle. I step out of his range quickly as he stumbles past me. He turns with a giant grin and tries again. This time when he passes me I hit him under the ribs with my index knuckle. He shrimps in on himself falling to the ground. I hear a "whoop!" From Nevan.
Porter gets up and adjusts his tactic. It looks like he's going to grab me so I hit under both arms with my index knuckles and step out of reach. Porter is getting agitated and careless. He comes at me with his supe speed and I don't have time to get out of the way. He locks his arms around my torso. I hit the side of his neck where the neck meets the shoulder. He lets go and I kick out the back of his knees. He's on the ground again. With a big smile on. He sweeps my legs out from beneath me. Now I am flat on my back, that was sloppy of me. I forgot to move away i was having too much fun. He tries to pin me onto the ground straddling my middle. I bend my knees tightly so my feet are touching my butt. Bringing a knuckle to his left elbow I lift my left hip and flip him on his back. Before he can adjust I hit his inner thighs so he lets go of my waist. And I roll away from him. I hear another call from Nevan that makes me happy. Porter gets up and grins at me.
"Thank you." He says but there is a gleam in his eye. I keep my awareness on him as I turn away. He's going to try something.
"You're welcome." I say and I feel him come up behind me. I hear Nevan yell something then I'm up in the air being held by my torso and thigh.
I swing my other leg to the other side of his head and squeeze. He lets go of me as I hang down his front. I lift my torso to look at him turn pink. I smile and hit him again in the under arms. He grunts but can't move his arms. I squeeze harder with my thighs and I see his eyes flutter and he starts crumbling backwards I release my hold. I don't want to kill him. I roll off Porter as Nevan comes to check on him.
"Holy crap Rowena!" He says as I chuckle. He hauls his brother over his shoulder and leads me inside. "I don't think he got a single hit in!" He lays Porter on the couch.
"He wasn't trying to hit me. He was testing my self defense. Making sure I wasn't letting myself be a target." I say with a smile putting a blanket over him.
"Did you want to finish dinner?" He asks.
"Is that even a question? Of course I do." I say heading back to the table.