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Chapter 25: Professional

The Hyperion Hotel.

That's where Nancy Boy Angel has been hiding. Since finding out that all that magical mystic shit is real – I mean, a guy has no reflection, survives my touch, and has no heartbeat just spells mystical shit – I took a closer look at the city. I don't know why I never noticed anything strange before. It's kind of obvious that the city is some kind of hot spot. After a bit of questioning and some threatening from some low life's walking the streets, I found out that Angel has a snitch, some cowardly little demon of some kind named Merv. Yeah, so demons are real. I guess that means that angels, witches, and leprechauns are as well. It really wouldn't surprise me. Back to the point though. I found Merv at some karaoke bar called Caritas, and I took him out back to talk. He asked for money. I don't pay money, I earn and steal it. So, after a few convincing shocks, he told me exactly where to find Angel.

It's really not a bad looking place. It's really old, at least a hundred years or so, maybe more, but it's in pretty good condition for what it is. The iron gate is unlocked, so that's easy to get through. I go to the front door, crack it open, and peek inside: no one. Okay, so either Angel lives alone or Denzel and Stick Chick Cherry abandoned him. I step further inside and wow. It really is a nice place. I wouldn't mind staying here.

I can hear movement upstairs, and quickly go up the crimson carpeted stairwell. I follow the noise, back pressed against the wall, until I get to a cracked door. Carefully, I peer inside and see my target, Angel, getting undressed. The shower is running from a side door.

Strange, I never thought vampires would shower. Then again, the whole being dead thing must carry with it a nasty smell.

Angel disappears into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. Now, I have no experience, but Angel is very nice as far as bodies go. Lots of muscle, but not too much, and he has a huge…uh, well, you know.

I quickly but cautiously enter the room and look around. It's got to be around here somewhere.

"Gwen?" Shit. I turn around and, low and behold, there he is. And he's still in a towel. Somewhere, God is laughing at me.

"Yeah, that's me. And I can tell by the sound of your voice that you're so happy to see me," I reply, hands on my hips.

"Um, what are you doing here?" he asks, hand clutching the towel at his waist. His eyes shift to look around the room. Aw, is the big bad freak nervous? Because of little old me? I'm honored!

"I'm a thief, Angel. I'm here to steal," I remind him pointedly and look around the room.

"Steal what, exactly?" Figures. Do I have to spell out everything for him? Life used to be so easy.

"Oh, sure. Of course you forgot," I state sardonically. "We had a deal, remember?"

"The Axis." Bingo, big guy. Glad to see that huge forehead of yours actually has a brain hidden underneath.

"I think a day is more than enough time for you to do whatever it was you needed." Reasonable enough, right? I can be reasonable and logical just fine if you just don't piss me off.

"You actually thought I'd hide a thirty-three million dollar object here?" he asked me. Why does he have to sound so shocked, so superior? It's not like he's any better than me. "Like, what? I'd place it on the nightstand or under my bed?" Just to prove his point, because I obviously don't believe him, he starts to search the room. He lifts up a few things and even goes so far as to move others out of the way, just to show me that it's not in the room. Bastard, think you're so smart but I'm smarter. "Well, as you have obviously seen for yourself, it's not here. So, if you don't mind, I have stuff to do. I believe you know your way out? Thanks for stopping by. I'll be sure to leave the stealables out next time."

"Oh, please!" I scoff. "You must think I'm the world's biggest idiot. No one steals an object worth that much and not hide it somewhere on their person," I tell him. Angel just glares and grabs my arm at the glove – I guess he doesn't favor getting shocked again – and drags me to the door. "Hey!" I shout and push him off me. "So, what? You didn't get your girlfriend back and now you're all grumpy because you don't have anyone to suck face with?" I question amusedly. By the look on his face, I guess I'm right. After all, he's all alone in this hotel room. If he'd gotten his girl back, she would be here, with him. "I'm not leaving without my property. You know it's mine, I know it's mine, and, besides, I already have plans with the proceeds. Big plans."

"Well, I hope it's a new wardrobe because spandex and leather are out," he tells me and I smirk at him.

"Been paying extra attention to my appearance, have you?" I ask, taking a few steps closer to him.

"Yeah, I tend to have a close eye on all the freaks in my town." There he goes, using my word against me. Asshole! What gives him the right to do that? Besides, "his town"? I don't think so!

"You should talk, Mr. I-Don't-Have-A-Pulse. Who are you calling a freak, freak?" I retort easily and he glares at me again.

"At least I can get in touch with people with out killing them on impact," he states. Low blow.

"Screw you!" I shout and turn to leave. Forget the Axis. I'll get it another time if he's not going to play nice.

"Gwen," he calls and I stop to look back at him. Oh, God, there's that face. That "please, forgive me" face. I hate that face. "Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…I shouldn't have…I'm just sorry, okay? I'm sorry."

"Its fine, Angel, really," I reply shortly. No, it's really not! "It's not like your wrong or anything."

"I was out of line. It's just…I've had a bad day. A really bad day. You saying…I just snapped."

"Not a prob, Nancy Boy."

""Nancy Boy"?" he echoes curiously. He's smart enough to sound offended.

"Sorry, my little nickname for you. When I saw you back at the penthouse, the first thing I thought was, 'Wow, look at all that Nancy Boy hair gel'. Since then I've kind of been wondering what you do that requires that much hair gel. Besides the breaking into penthouses to steal mystical artifacts part."

"I'm a private detective," he answered. Yeah, but that still doesn't explain the hair gel. I mean, did Dick Tracey wear hair gel? No!

"And you just decided to steal the Axis as a side job for you own personal gain?" I questioned sarcastically. I guess he missed the sarcasm because he glares again. "Kidding." I raise my hands up in defense. "So, how come you don't breathe? Normally, I mean? No reflection? Are you – and, please, don't judge me on my mental status when I ask this – a vampire?"

"Yeah," he answers plainly.

"Huh," is all I can really say. "I heard that vampires were in L.A. but I've never run across one. So, unless you get your blood supply at Vampires-R-Us, what do you do for food?"

"I usually get my blood from the local butcher. But, if necessary and under very special circumstances, I think I could get by on human blood. You were saying?"

"Does it hurt? When you…" How could I say it without sounding like a total bitch? When you vamp out? When get the bumps? What didn't sound snotty? "…when you do that," Yeah, that was a good neutral way to go, "does it hurt?"

"Not me," was the simple reply. I vaguely nodded and continued to look at him. When the bumps disappeared, I still couldn't stop staring. That was just too cool. "Stop staring at me."

"Hmm?" Shaking my head, I snapped back into focus. Nice, Gwen, real nice. Just stare at the mythical creature like he's some animal in a zoo. Nice. "Sorry, but it's not every day I meet a creature of the night. Well, the blood sucking kind anyway. You know, it's odd," I told him, crossing my arms and walking closer to him. "You just don't seem to fit the vampire profile. Isn't annoying to blend in with the normies even though you can't?"

"Of course not. I don't try to hide what I am, Gwen. It's a part of me." I roll my eyes and nod. There's that damn speech again; first he's like Scott, now he's Chuck.

"Do you think you'd want to? Bite me, I mean?"

"What?" Okay, no need to sound so scared, Angie.

"Just asking if I'm bitable, big guy," I explain calmly, shrugging nonchalantly. "I'm curious, you know, since most men get zapped and then they're out the door fast than you can say Thomas Edison."

"Well, you'll find I'm not like most men." I nod slowly. He nods slowly. Can you say awkward?

"So…"

"…You still want the Axis?" he wonders.

"If you don't have any more use for it, yeah. I kinda need the dough until my next job. Which will hopefully go off without any undead interruptions," I add with a pointed look. He told me to wait while he ran off to get it. Sighing, I go to the window and sit on the ledge, waiting patiently. I could snoop but, if the stories about vampires are true, they had super speed and super hearing. Which means he would catch me, easily. And possibly kill me, though we've been playing nice so far. And I don't want to die. There's so many shiny things in the world I just haven't stolen yet.

He's in front of me before I even know what happens and hands me the Axis. I take it with a smile and wink, "Thanks, Angel Cakes."

"God, you sound like Lorne," he groans.

"Who?"

"Never mind. So, what you are going to do with the money?" he asks, quickly changing the subject. Whoever this Lorne is, I think I could like him…or possibly her.

"Oh, I was planning on taking that trip to Paris I always wanted." He stares at me, eyebrows quirked. He looks surprised. I think I'm a little offended by that. "Well, I've been practically everywhere else, so why not?"

"You travel a lot?"

"Hell yes! We've only got one life – well, some of us, anyway," I add with a nod to him. "But those of us that do have just the one life, I figure, should make the best of it. Carpe Diem and all that jazz."

He nods and shifts around a moment, hands in his pockets. "We'll, you got what you came for so…"

"Aw, trying to get rid of me already?" I pout and chuckle. "It's okay, I have to get going anyway. A client of mine says he has an urgent job for me."

"Paris?" Smart man…er, vampire.

I smile coyly. "How'd you know?"

"Your voice changes slightly when you lie."

"So some of the myths are true. Wicked." Angel smirks a little, looking rather cute and modest. One foot out the window, I turn back to him and smile, "See you around, Angel."

"See you, Gwen. Try to stay out of trouble." Not freaking likely, bub.

"Only if you do."

P.S.: Four pages total.