Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Her Terms

"Right," I nodded.  "Um, do you have a phone here?  Because if you get some kind of psychic inkling about something important, I need you to call me and let me know."  I wondered why I hadn't bothered to get Tithenai on speed dial already.

She looked down and shook her grotesquely dainty little head.  "No way.  I don't work for you."

That came as a shock.  And kind of a slap in the face.  "What?  What do you mean?" I asked.

Tithenai sighed.  "Look, all I want to do is have some fun.  I got a feeling I'm not the only one.  I just want to play my video games, all right?  You want to come bother me with questions every now and then, that's fine.  That's one thing.  The fact that I even paused my game to talk to you means I like you.  But that's as far as it goes.  I'm not involved.  I don't lift a finger.  I don't go out."  I got the sense that she had been hoping that I would pick up on how she wanted to do things instead of making her come out and say it explicitly.  She looked miserable having to speak it aloud.

I tried to be understanding despite the fact that I didn't understand.  But she had helped me out in the past.  She was powerful and useful and she didn't seem to relish being difficult, so I figured it was best that I cooperated with her hermitic wishes.  "Okay…uh, sure.  Then can I just come bother you from time to time?  And if there is something you know you'll tell me then?"

"Sure, man, whatever," she agreed dejectedly.  Then her demeanor abruptly darkened.  "You should get back to your office."

Her tone was alarming.  "What?"

"It's Jaelin," she said urgently.  "You need to go back to your office."

Just then, my phone started ringing.

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