I was the only one on the bus back to Medical Row. As I trudged past glass mansion after glass mansion, I felt a strange tingling on my neck. Every few steps I glanced behind me, just to see if anyone was following me, but I didn’t see anyone. That strange feeling of being watch stayed with me until I reached my home. Through the glass I could see my mother looking out, holding what I assumed was her fourth glass of wine for the night. She looked regal in her black silk dress and topaz earrings. Her diamond ring caught the light of the setting sun as she took another sip of her drink. When she saw me, she put down her glass and said something to a person behind her. Next to her my father and grandmother appeared. They waved for me to hurry inside. I couldn’t stop the smile that was forming on my face. But someone else could. I could smell him before I could see him. The smell of mint sent a rush of adrenaline through me and I wanted to run in side my house, bolt the door and hide in my closet until he was gone. Of course, the door was transparent and the stairway was visible as well, so hiding wasn’t really an option. Damn these glass houses, I thought. Crowley’s shadow engulfed me. I steeled my nerves and turned to face him. I swear I could cut myself on his jaw line. His face was so well proportioned it was painful to look at head on. He held his night stick in one hand. It had flecks of brown splattered up and down the weapon. I felt a wave of nausea over take me. Was that Evans blood? Crawley’s deep chuckle snapped my gaze up to meet his brown eyes.
“Myra, how was your first day?” My lips parted in exasperation at this man. Was he really going to act like he hadn’t come into my work place, abducted a man and beaten him, maybe even beaten him to death? There wasn’t a single stain on his blue uniform, but that didn’t mean anything. Well if he wanted to play this game, I wasn’t going to let him win. I planted my feet firmly and put my hands on my thin hips.
“Oh fine. Nothing that exciting happened. Just being a productive member of society.” His upper lip curled into a smirk and he reached out to flick my badge with his finger.
“It suits you.” He hooked his finger through his belt loop. “Look about today-“
“What about today?” I didn’t want to hear him speak. I didn’t want to hear his soft breathing. I fluttered my eyelashes and tilted my head in faux concern. His handsome smirk turned into a sneer.
“I suggest you be careful Myra. It’s important to keep good company. Don’t assume normal gets everything resolved.” I didn’t understand what he was trying to say. Don’t assume what? But before I could try to make sense of his words, Crowley began circling me like a vulture, scanning my body for any point of weakness he could attack. It took me a moment to digest his words. “Look at poor Evan Steward. His family lineage is done. His siblings were exiled at a young age, some defect. No more Stewards to go around. What was he? Italian? I think we have enough Italians left, so we should be okay for now.” I must not have been controlling my facial expression as well as I thought I was because Crawley let out a cruel laugh. He reached out to touch my face, but I swatted his hand away. He stepped so close to me that I could see every pore on his perfect bronze face. His hot breath on my neck sent a shiver down my spine. I felt his warm lips press against my ear. I could feel the goosebumps rising on my arms and my breathing turned into short, rapid breathes. “Or I could just take you right now.” His fingertips ran the length of my arm and I forgot how to breathe. “And when I am done with you, I could toss you out with the rest of the Tainted, since you seem to sympathize with them so much.” I placed my hands on his thick, barrel chest and shoved him away with every bit of strength I had. I raised my hand to slap him, but I felt a thin hand wrap around my wrist. My mother was beside me, he held her wine glass in her other hand and she looked at me with disapproval. Then she smiled sweetly at Crowley.
“Enforcer James Crowley.” She stepped in between me and the rattlesnake. “I hope you don’t mind, it has been a long day, dinner is ready and we would like to be on time for the nightly announcements. I am sure a desirable man such as yourself already has plans for the evening?” Crowley’s smile waivered for a moment before he inclined his head.
“Of course, Madam Roy. I hope you have a lovely evening.” He took my mother’s hand and brought his perfect lips down to her skin. I felt my eyes almost roll out of my head. My mother sauntered away towards the front door, but all I could do was glare at Crowley and imagine digging my nails into his eyeballs. He held my gaze as he took my hand, his lips lingered on my skin and I felt heat rise to my cheeks.
“Come along darling” my mother called from the doorway. I forced my feet to move towards my mother but I stopped when I heard Crowley speak again.
“Goodnight Myra, sleep well.” He winked at me, hoping to get a reaction. Instead I tilted my head graciously and gave him a smile as sweet as honey.
“Why thank you Enforcer. I would remind you that you are speaking to a Pure who is now a working member of society. You are to address me as Doctor Myra Roy. That should be simple enough for someone like you to remember.” I turned on my heel and hurried to the back of the house were Crowley’s eyes couldn’t follow me.