Derek Gaunt személy
Hair: brown, longish
Beast Form: wolf
He has a good, steady warrior form. He can speak in his warrior form.
Allergic to tortoises.
“I didn’t expect her to stay,” Derek said. His face was a stone mask and his voice was devoid of all emotion. Despite everything I had said, he must’ve believed she loved him. “I was her way out, nothing more. I’m okay with that. Besides, things have changed . . .” He pointed to his face.
Julie scrambled off the bed. “For your information, I don’t care!”
She took off. Derek looked at me. “Don’t care about what?”
My kid had a giant crush on my teenage werewolf sidekick. Why me? Why? What did I ever do to anybody?
I squirmed into my bed and pulled the covers up to my chin. “Your face, Derek. She doesn’t care what you look like. You go sort it out yourself.”
“I claimed the city,” I told Curran.
“Would you like me to build you an office?”
What? I stared at him.
“You could have a little plaque with your name on it. Kate Daniels, City Owner.”
“It’s not funny.”
“We can get you one of those bank line setups with stanchions and velvet rope and a little pillow in the front, so people can form a line and kneel before you in humble supplication . . .”
“Will you stop?”
“We can get Derek one of those dark suits and aviator shades. He can look menacing and give out numbers. ‘You are seventh in line to bow before Kate Daniels.’”
“I’m going to punch you in the arm,” I growled.
“We can get you a throne with snakes. I’ll stand next to you and roar at anybody who fails to grovel. Fear Kate Daniels. She is a mighty and terrible ruler. Grendel can anoint the petitioners with his vomit. It’ll be great . . .”
Oh God. I put my hands over my face.
“Come on, baby,” he said. “I’m just trying to cheer you up.”
“I claimed territory that my father wanted. He’ll lose his shit completely now. Not only that, but every ambitious idiot with a drop of magical power will know that this area is claimed and will look for whoever claimed it. Not to mention that right now the Witch Oracle, the neo-pagans, and the People are all having a fit of apoplexy. I was supposed to prevent the claiming, not take the city. The Pack Council will be having kittens.”
“The Witch Oracle and the neo-pagans can bite me,” Curran said. “They’ll get over it. If anybody comes to challenge you, we’ll kick their ass. We’ll find a way to handle Roland. And if the Pack Council produces any kittens, we’ll give them to Jim to raise. He needs to mellow out anyway.”
I looked at him.
He took his hands off the wheel and held them apart about six inches. “Cute fluffy kittens. Just sitting on Jim’s lap.”
I pictured Jim with his badass-chief-of-security expression covered in small fluffy kittens. It was too much. The numbness inside me broke, like a dam. I giggled and laughed. Curran laughed, too.
“Cute kittens, meow-meow,” I managed. In my head, Jim held up his finger and sternly lectured a pack of kittens. Oh God. “He’d make them all hard-core.”
“He’d take them to the Wood to hunt deer,” Curran said between the bouts of laughter. “They’d . . . pounce.”
A couple of minutes later we emerged into the waiting room. Derek was slouching against a wall. Julie sat next to Ascanio. The same Ascanio who’d told her I might end up paralyzed or with amnesia and that I wanted to go home to die.
Julie saw me and jumped to her feet. Ascanio grabbed her hand, trying to hold her back.
Amnesia, huh. Well, let’s see how it plays out.
“I don’t know who you are,” I told him. “But don’t touch my kid.”
Surprise slapped his face. He let go and Julie hugged me. I hugged her back.
“Are you okay?” Julie asked.
“I’m okay.” I told her. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m not leaving you. You got it?”
“I got it.” She nodded. We’d talk about it more later when we weren’t in front of other people. Some things were better discussed in private.
Curran was moving and I walked next to him. We had to get the hell out of the Keep as soon as we could.
Derek and Julie fell in behind us. Ascanio chased me. “Kate! It’s me.”
“‘Me’ is a terrible name,” I told him. “You should aim for at least three letters.”
“Ascanio! You have to remember me.”
I shook my head. “Nope.”
“It’s not fair!” he declared.
“Yes, make it all about you,” Julie told him.
Ascanio stopped. “I will make you remember me!” he called.
The four of us kept going.
“You do remember him?” Julie whispered.
“Of course, I remember him.”
A quick reconnaissance identified the sound's point of origin, namely my roof, and I went into the yard to get a good look at it. The sun was already up and beginning to grill the ground. I looked at the top of the house and saw the Beast Lord in a torn T-shirt and paintstained jeans. He held a hammer in a very businesslike manner and was applying it to my roof. Derek sat next to him, dutifully passing him shingles.
The world had gone insane.
„Can I ask you a question?” I called.
Curran stopped hammering and looked at me. „Sure.”
„What are you doing on my roof?”
„I'm teaching the kid a valuable skill,” Curran said.
He reached behind him and pushed the door closed. “I’ve come to extend a petition from the Pack.”
I don’t want to work with Curran, I don’t want to work with Curran, I don’t want to work with Curran. “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that right. I thought you said the Pack wanted my help?”
“Yes.” Little tiny sparks danced in his eyes. “We were screwed and he didn’t even kiss us first.”
“How tacky of him. And this ‘he’ would be?”
“I have the packet.”
“Awesome!” He checked himself and continued in a more even tone. “When can I pick it up?”
“I’ll drop it by tomorrow.”
“Did you beat the shit out of him?”
Ha! Derek was still in there, under the Mr. Cool Pack Wolf veneer.