Lee Isidor: I'm here. C:

2. I've had this idea for a while now, but it's only just made its way onto paper. This is my first time writing Lucky, so bear with me while I work out the kinks in Lavi's personality that he apparently has on paper. xDD

3. Kanda's novel is my work. Me an' Mana's manga is in novel form, which is what I'm working on. Don't be surprised if you see some familiar names popping up. Like Isidor. ;D

4. The first two chapters are kind of slow. Props to anyone who knows what gave me this idea in the first place. And if you don't know, it's whatever. It's not a big deal, really. Right now, I have no idea about the ending to this story, so if anyone has any helpful hints or suggestions, I'm all ears. C: 'Cept not like the Radio Disney slogan. Maybe that's just a Tejas thing.

5. Tell me what you think. C: The first and last line of each chapter is a song lyric. The chapter title is the song, and the artist is the italics. C: Gives you some idea as to what I listen to while I write.. C: Their personalities have been tweaked a little bit, if you can tell, because they're in a different time, a different place, and under different circumstances. So unless I did something drastically wrong or out-of-character, I know.

6. Last one, I promise. I love Budapest, and it's a wonderful city, and that's why I like to use it in my writing so much. Buda is the side of the city on the hill, facing the Danube River, and that's the 'residential' part. Pest is the 'industrial' part on the opposite, flatter side. I've been there. I have pictures. I love Hungary. The gypsy restaurant I mentioned does exist, and so does the Pierrot Cafe. The latter, I'm not sure where it is, though. I forgot. D: That's all.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to own DGM or its underlying characters. I do, however, own the characters in Kanda's novel. If I see their names popping up anywhere without my permission, your ass will be grass, my friend.

Summary: Novelist Yuu Kanda is convinced he's being stalked. Not even his best friend Lavi believes him - until he turns up missing. The kidnapper's trail of clues turns into a sick game, and everyone is forced to play along. That is, if they want Kanda back alive... TyKan, Lucky, LaviYuu

Chapter One: I Spy, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly

"I spy with my little eye, something that begins with 'I don't care...'"

There were always clues. He had always left clues.

Sometimes they were obvious clues. Sometimes they weren't. Sometimes it was something little. Sometimes it was something that he could look in the face. Most of the time, it was an object. One object. No more than two at a time, ever. He would never leave behind that much evidence. Sometimes he would make sure that the entire scene was safe before leaving. More often than not, he didn't bother. It would just be another clue for them to follow.

He had first gotten the idea from an I Spy book. The clues had rhymed, so he had tried his hardest to play along. Rhymes weren't as easy as he had thought they would be, and it took some practice before he was good at it. For a while, he rhymed in every day conversation. Then his family started to look at him funny, and he stopped. But that didn't stop him from writing it down.

He had journals full of rhymes. None of them were very pleasant. They weren't children's rhymes, like the ones in the books he had read. They served his purpose, but it wasn't until he was older that he finally got to leave one as a clue.

Nobody had ever solved that case.

Nobody had suspected him to begin with. He had covered his tracks expertly. However, he had left that rhyme as a clue. A single, daunting clue for whoever had the guts or the brains to figure it out. He would have preferred both. For him to pull of such a crime at such a young age, he was sure it was genius.

It had gotten easier. He had moved on to bigger, better objects. The apples of his eye. They were always nice things. Occasionally it was people. He watched, planned, took. And the clues were always left, in plain sight. He got better. There had been an instance where they had almost, almost caught him. He had slipped through their fingers like smoke at the last minute. They had never gotten that close again.

Once, he had used stilts and a pair of a grown man's shoes to leave prints near an old barnyard. It had been fun. Someone else had been framed for his crime, someone completely innocent. He had been gleeful, ecstatic. It had been too easy. That was when he had moved on to bigger things, more important things, living things. People.

It was easiest to leave rhymes for his largest spoils.

I Spy games had become his favorite. He would write, always in rhyme, the clue that pointed to an object. Sometimes that object would give a direction. Other times it would lead to another object. More often than not, it was just a random verse slung together for his amusement. They had never pegged him for it. He had lived for years in one town, and the crimes were always in another. One far away. He was just a visitor. No one thought to blame a poor, innocent bystander. Not even one with a penchant for rhymes and games and a skewered idea of fun.

It was time again.

"I spy, with my little eye..."

TIME: 718, 19 SEPTEMBER 2009

He stood in front of the mirror, straightening his tie. Sometimes it was better to look nice, he figured. His hair had been slicked back, and even though it revealed the harrowing, cross-shaped scars scattered across his forehead, someone had told him it made him look confident. That was exactly the look he needed that morning. Confident, cool, alluring. He had to make a good first impression. He ran his tongue over his teeth, wondering if he should brush them again.

Tyki Mikk, successful in his own right, had just been promoted to managing editor, just one step below his editor-in-chief, and that opened his horizons. Not only would be editing for a variety of new, different clients, he could also take over some of the editing jobs that the retiring manager, an old Mr. Gregory, had overseen. Like the most favorable – he would be the new editor for budding novelist Yuu Kanda. Not quite a household name yet, but with a little time, he could get there.

Grabbing the stack of papers on his table and a bagel for good measure, Tyki left the house. He was fairly well-off, living in a good neighborhood near the outskirts of the town. The Danube River was just a few blocks away, but his house was big enough that he could see the muddy waters from the second story windows. He slipped his cell phone into his vest pocket, deciding it would be a good morning for a walk to work.

"Morning, Tyki!" the Chinese girl who lived across the street, Lenalee, waved at him. She was sitting out on the front step of her and her older brother's house, tying her shoe. "Are you heading out already?"

The Portuguese man crossed the cobbled street, smiling gently at her. "Yeah. Got a promotion yesterday, so I can't be late."

She smiled, patting the step next to her. "You sure you can't stay for a minute? I'm sure brother would let you snag a pork bun." Her backpack was half-open on the porch next to her, and he could see one of her college textbooks. "How have you been? Workin' a lot lately?"

Tyki laughed lightly. "Yeah, there's just too much to do. I heard you got a new part-time job, Lenalee. Something Komui let slip last time I saw him."

The young woman smiled again. "That's big brother for you. What, was he bragging about me getting a job or something?" Lenalee reached over, pulling a small plate towards her and taking a bite of a steaming pork bun. "I'm the new receptionist at the Four Seasons. At least it's not cleaning!"

They laughed together for a moment before the front door slid open. Komui was pushing his glasses up his nose, a steaming blue mug in one hand. "Morning, Tyki," he said thickly. "You on your way to work?"

The older man nodded. "Just leaving. I promise I wasn't hitting on her or anything," he teased, reaching over to pat the woman's head.

"Hey!" Lenalee swatted his hand away. "I'm leaving too, brother. I've got a class at eight." The young woman turned to grant him a secret smile. "Will you walk me to the end of the street? I wanted to ask you a question."

Tyki shrugged. "If you want," he said easily. "I don't mind." She waved goodbye to her brother and they walked in silence past the rows of houses. The sidewalk was littered with leaves from the turning fall colors, and he kicked at a pile. "What did you want to ask?"

She turned to face him, hands on her hips. "Are you just leading Lavi on, or are you actually interested?" Lenalee asked seriously, her lips turned into a stern pout. "He's my friend too, and if you're gonna start working with Kanda, you're gonna have to deal with both of us!"

The Portuguese man laughed, shaking his head. "Is that all? Lenalee, you know I wouldn't be showing interest if I wasn't." The young woman touched his arm, laughing with him. "Don't worry. You can tell Lavi that I am most definitely interested."

Her smile suddenly looked a lot more genuine. "Great! Can I really tell him that?" She asked, suddenly shy. "I mean, if you don't mind..."

They parted at the end of the street. "Sure. Tell him whatever." The older man grinned. "Have fun at class, Lee." She waved at him as they went opposite directions. His walk to work was mostly uninterrupted after that. A flock of pigeons had scattered as he walked through them. The sky was a little cloudy. A crisp breeze was making the trees shake. He liked this weather. It made it more bearable to walk to work in his button down and vest. The office building was freezing, all year long. No matter how cold or warm it got outside, sometimes he felt like Earl was trying to freeze them all to death. At least then he wouldn't have to dole out any paychecks.

He slid into the office just a few minutes before eight, taking his time. He had two contacts he was supposed to, well, contact that day, and he was probably going to start with the less daunting one. The one he already knew and had established a semi-pleasant relationship with. Mrs. O'Neil, an established author, was supposed to contact him about picking up the draft for her newest novel. Then, he was going to head down and meet Kanda face to face. Well, not that he hadn't seen him before.

Tyki made short work of his call to Mrs. O'Neil, arranging to meet her later in the afternoon at the corner bakery he knew she liked to frequent. An afternoon coffee would be nice, he decided, after he finished with Kanda. The thought made a small smirk twist his lips.

Nobody gave him a second glance as he left the building, but he did leave a sticky note on his desk explaining where he had gone. Earl would have been proud of him. It wasn't even ten o' clock yet, and here he was, hailing a cab and heading to the forested part of the outskirts of the city. Apparently the young up and comer lived alone, in a large house with an equally large garden. Of course, it wasn't 'apparent,' because he already knew. He had seen Kanda's house before, and he had seen the young man puttering around town occasionally. Once, he had even seen Lavi with him, out for coffee. They were supposed to be best friends.

When the cabbie left him alone in front of Kanda's house, he was suddenly uncomfortable.

Deciding that dealing with discomfort could come later, Tyki marched up to the front door and rapped smartly with his knuckles. "What? What do you want?" a voice snapped loudly, and there were clattering footsteps.

The door slid open, and he was almost, almost taken by surprise. The Japanese man – as he had read from some information on the end flap of one of his novels – was struggling to pull his hair up and back, a stretched-out rubber band between his fingers. The house had a sunken entryway, along with a basket of house slippers and two pairs of shoes neatly lined up at the side. Kanda's eyes showed a spark of recognition.

"Morning, Kanda," Tyki said, hoping his tone was friendly. "Just wanted to touch base with you. You did get the notice about Mr. Gregory's retirement, right?"

"Yeah, hurry up and get in," the long-haired man replied, beckoning him inside. "It's rude to linger in doorways." Kanda turned around, giving the other an unintentional view of his un-tucked shirt and rumpled pants. It looked almost like he had been sleeping in his clothes. "Take off your shoes and pick a pair of slippers."

Tyki stepped into the house, and the younger man slid the door shut behind him. Kanda turned on heel and stalked into the house, down the entry hall and disappearing around a corner. The Portuguese man slid shoe off of one foot, then the other, and picked a pair of straw slippers to, well, slip on his feet. He followed the hallway the other had taken, turning the corner and finding himself in a well-lit kitchen.

"Sit down," Kanda ordered roughly as soon as he had crossed the threshold. The older man's golden eyes surveyed the room, trying to hastily memorize every detail. It would come in handy later. There was a black tea set in the middle of the counter island; a small table was in the breakfast nook. The morning newspaper was spread out, but a large chunk was missing from the center. He frowned at it. "I made tea."

"Oh. Thanks." Kanda motioned towards the table, so he sat down obediently. He could see an open door leading to the pantry, and he could see a traditional dining room through the adjoining hallway. Small cushions were situated at various places around the table, and the centerpiece was a pair of old, abalone vases.

Before he could ask any questions or say anything at all, the Japanese man had set down a tray carrying his black teapot and two Japanese cups on the table. They clattered, and he frowned at them. "What did you want to talk to me about?" Kanda asked finally, pouring them both cups of steaming tea.

Tyki took the offered cup gracefully, holding it up to his mouth and taking a deep breath. Green tea. He took a small sip, letting the hot, bitter liquid burn his tongue. "I just wanted to meet you," he said honestly. "Since you had been working with Mr. Gregory for so long, I thought the change might be..." he trailed off, unsure of what to say.

"Okay," the other replied. He tilted his head back, taking a long swallow of the scalding tea. Tyki wondered how he could stand it. "So. Who're you?"

The older man smiled, setting down his cup. "I'm Tyki Mikk. New managing editor. I think we're going to be seeing a lot of each other from now on."

Kanda gave him a wholly mistrustful look. "So are you going to be the one reading over my manuscript? Gregory was going to give me another week before he collected it." He paused, glancing down into his cup of tea.

"Don't be uncomfortable with me," Tyki said easily. "I think we could get along quite well if you wouldn't be so stiff."

"Who are you calling stiff?" Kanda growled, leaning forward. His hand was poised over the teapot, as though he was going to throw it. "Fuck you! I didn't ask for a new editor!"

Tyki couldn't help the startled laugh that escaped him. "That's more like it!" he said cheerfully. "I've heard all about you from Lavi. I was wondering if that decent attitude was just a façade, and I guess I was right." He leaned forward as well, matching the other's posture. "I did have a few questions for you."

"And?" Kanda said aggressively. "Are you going to hurry up and fucking ask? I don't want to sit here all day."

The older man smiled again. "Would you care to give me a rundown on your latest novel?" Tyki asked, clasping his hands underneath his chin. "I'm afraid to say that Mr. Gregory left absolutely nothing for me to work with aside from your name and address."

The long-haired man sat back, a thoughtful expression on his face. "You know Lavi, don't you?" At his affirmative nod, the other's expression twisted into a scowl. "Why don't you just ask him about it, then?"

Tyki stood abruptly, pushing his chair back and setting the half-full cup of tea down. "Would you excuse me?" he asked stiffly. "Could you direct me to the bathroom?"

Kanda didn't give him a second glance, and for that, he was glad. At least the younger man wasn't suspicious that he was actually going to explore the layout of his house. "Down the hall. Take a right, and it's the last door on the left."

He nodded his thanks, ambling through the hallways and trying to memorize what he saw. There were two doors on one side of the hallway, but only one of them was open. The first was a sort of study. A hardwood desk was littered with papers, and he peered at them curiously. The rough draft for what he assumed was Kanda's newest work was spread out all over. The next door was closed, and Tyki glanced behind him before he pushed it open carefully. It led to, apparently, the bedroom. A futon had been left unmade in the corner of the room. A low-lying table and a cushion were nearby, along with a small lamp. Tyki glanced at the bed, trying to picture the long-haired man sleeping in it. It made for a nice mental picture. He left the room, shutting the door behind him, and then moving on to the next room.

By the time he had memorized every bit of the house that he could, Tyki ambled back into the kitchen. It felt like he had been gone for hours, but Kanda was merely leaned over a piece of paper at the table, scribbling madly. He didn't even look up when Tyki re-entered the room. The older man slid back into his kitchen chair, leaning forward to peer at the writing. Kanda whisked it away, frowning at him.

"Back, are you?" Kanda muttered, leaning back in his chair. "Are you done here?"

Tyki half-laughed. "Are you trying to kick me out? You still haven't answered any of my questions."

"Che, you don't need to be here. You can ask the fuckin' usagi if you want to know any more," Kanda snapped. "I want you out of my house. I have things to do."

"Like gardening?" Tyki asked curiously. The younger man seemed to pause in his tracks, a flush creeping into his exotic cheeks. "Do you take care of it yourself? It looks nice." He paused, smirking as an embarrassed blush spread over Kanda's face.

"Don't talk about me like you know things," Kanda said finally. "Ask your stupid questions and get out of my house." He tapped fine-boned fingers on the table, scowling.

Tyki paused for a moment, deciding to look at the young man's face one more time before continuing. Kanda had a nice face. His eyes were almond-shaped, a clear dark brown and lined with long black lashes. The severe cut of his bangs made them stand out in his pale face. He had a straight nose, exotic cheekbones, and thin lips that were pursed in a pouty frown. He allowed himself a moment to wonder what it would be like to kiss those lips. Or run his fingers through the younger man's sleek hair. Nice, probably. It would be nice.

"First of all, do you have any drafts that I could look at to get a feel for your style?" Tyki asked at last, deciding to cut short his mental wandering. There would be more time for that later. "I don't want to be a stranger to your work."

Kanda grunted, pushing himself to his feet. "I'll go get one. Stay here." He was gone for a few minutes, disappearing down the same hallway Tyki had gone down earlier. It sounded like he was rummaging through the papers on his desk. The novelist returned with a healthy stack of papers clutched in one hand. "Here," he said roughly, shoving the papers at the editor. "This was the draft from my last novel."

The Portuguese man smiled warmly. "Thank you. Now, my only other questions were when you would like to meet next. I'd like to get to know you a bit better, Kanda. I like to get to know the writers I work with."

"Che," Kanda made the noise again, shaking his head. "I don't like to leave my house. 'Specially not to see idiots."

He brushed the insult aside casually. "Then we can meet here. I wouldn't mind coming out to see you. I heard there's a nice restaurant a few miles from here. That gypsy one that nobody ever seems to know the name of."

The long-haired man glared at him. "What the hell are you suggesting? That we go out to fucking lunch or something?"

Tyki sighed, rising from his chair. "Kanda, please don't make this so difficult. I'll be back in a few days to check on your progress. How about that?" He tried to keep the annoyance out of his voice. "Is that okay with you?"

"Just leave," Kanda said dismissively. "I want to get back to work."

The older man showed himself out the door, circling the house once before hiking the walk back to the main road. It was only a few miles outside of town, but he had no intentions of walking. A quick call had him a guaranteed ride out of there; he just had to wait a good ten minutes. Maybe he could memorize the outside of Kanda's house and try to figure out the best way to break in. He could spend his time doing productive things.

Or, Tyki decided tacitly, he could just read the budding novelist's old manuscript.

TIME: 1246, 19 SEPTEMBER 2009

He only had to wait a few minutes before a sleek, dark blue town car pulled up beside him. The window rolled down, and a shock of red hair poked through. "Hey! Have you been waiting long?" Lavi grinned at him, waving his arm out of the car. Tyki gathered all of his papers and stood, stretching his legs out.

"Wasn't too long," he said agreeably. The younger man jerked his head at the passenger seat, and the editor slid into the car. "Thanks for coming. I would've had to call a cab if you were busy."

The other shook his head, still smiling. "I'd never be too busy to swing by and pick you up," he said happily. "'Sides, we all know how Kanda treats his visitors." Lavi made an odd face, sticking out his tongue. "Too bad he's not as nice as he is with me an' Lena!" The younger man leaned out the window, cupping his hands around his mouth. "Yuu-chan! I'll see you la-ter!"

"Get away from my fucking house!" Kanda howled in reply.

Lavi pulled his head back into the car, laughing. "I'll talk to him about being friendlier later. Did you have a good meeting?" He turned, smiling. Tyki had to wonder how he had finagled a license with such an eye problem. With his black eye patch, depth perception must have been difficult. He refrained from asking. It probably wouldn't sit well with the redhead.

Tyki shrugged stiffly. "I guess it went okay. Hey, since you're giving me a ride, how 'bout we go for lunch? I'll treat," he smiled warmly. Heat was rising in the other man's cheeks. It was cute, really. He leaned to the side, elbowing the redhead in the ribs. "Sound good?"

"Oh, uh, sure!" Lavi said, jumping slightly. "Don't do that! I'm trying to drive!" He scolded.

The brunette sat back in his chair, smiling sheepishly. "Sorry." They sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes, the younger man navigating the streets of Pest fairly quickly. "Hey, what about that one café Lenalee said was amazing? Pierrot Café or something?"

Lavi's brow furrowed for a moment before he smiled again. "Yeah! She raves about that place all the time. Let's check it out!" It took a good fifteen more minutes of driving to get to the appropriate district, but they made comfortable small talk about the weather and work. Lavi parked the car and they both got out, walking along the sidewalk to the corner café. Tyki pushed the door open, holding it for the redhead who muttered a shy, "Thanks," before brushing past him.

They were seated at a small table near the window, and the waitress brought them menus and drinks. Tyki took a straw and poked at the lemon balanced on the rim of the cup. It fell into the water glass, and he prodded it to the bottom of the cup.

"So," he said finally, breaking their pregnant pause. "Have you spoken to Lenalee lately?"

The other's cheeks suddenly flamed. "Uh, yeah. Jus' talked to her this morning, actually. She was telling me about this seminar she went to about, uh, something..." He grinned sheepishly. "I wasn't really listening. You know how Lena gets."

Tyki laughed. "Oh, I know. Sometimes it's pretty easy to tell that she and Komui are related." The redhead across from him chuckled as well. He leaned forward, hoping his golden eyes were warm and inviting. "Did you hear anything else from Lenalee?"

It was strange seeing the other man so awkward. Usually he was full of energy, and that chipper smile was hardly ever off his lips. It was kind of cute, really. Tyki found himself wanting to reach across the table and smooth the blush from the redhead's cheeks. "She said..."

"Don't be embarrassed," Tyki said softly, reaching under the table to pat Lavi's knee. The other's face flamed as red as his hair. "I told her the truth. I don't want to embarrass you, Lavi, but if you would like to –"

Lavi's whole demeanor suddenly shifted. "Sure! You gonna be treatin' me to lunch like this more often?" He grinned, the blush fading from his cheeks. The subtle embarrassment was quickly being replaced by his usual, cheerful personality. "You pick the place, tell me the time, and I'll be there!"

He laughed, leaning an elbow on the table despite the nagging thought that it was against proper etiquette. "So you're okay with it?" The older man cupped his chin in one hand, gazing at the other hopefully, even though his mind was miles away. "I'm glad."

As though she had realized the important part of the conversation was done, the waitress flounced over to the table to take their orders. She jotted them down on a notepad before slipping their menus off the table and leaving them again in silence. The pause was longer than the last, and he watched with muted interest as Lavi took a sip of his water.

"So, are you busy this afternoon?" Tyki asked smoothly, quirking one eyebrow. The redhead sputtered for a second. "Maybe we could take a walk down to Saint Stephens? There shouldn't be too many tourists in it this time of year."

Lavi grinned, nodding vigorously. "Sure, sounds good. I haven't been there in a while. Did you take Rhode and Sheryl to see it last time they were here?"

The older man gave a startled chuckle. "I tried to, but you know... I'm not sure what it is, but those two just seem to have this horrible aversion to anything related to religion. It's too bad – the Basilica really is nice."

"I haven't been there in a while," Lavi said easily, scratching the back of his head. "Last time I was there, they were doing renovations or something. Is that all finished?"

Tyki nodded. "Yeah. The tile floor was being repaired or something, I heard. Did you see what it was?" He glanced around the small café, looking for a familiar face. Someone recognized him and lifted their hand in a wave. He nodded back.

The waitress brought their food, and they made more small talk. Mostly it was about family. If they were going to be dating, however unofficial it was, it would probably behoove them to know about each other's families. After the food had been eaten and the bill had been paid – at which he had gotten a pleasant surprise at the inexpensiveness of the café – they cleared off. For a few minutes, they walked in silence towards the cathedral.

"Kanda has informed me that he won't tell me anything about his novels," Tyki said suddenly. His companion turned to give him a bemused stare. "He told me to ask you instead."

"Well, that's Yuu-chan for ya," Lavi replied easily, locking his hands behind his head. It was a casual pose. "So, are you askin' me, or what?"

The brunette laughed, an amused smile worming its way to his lips. "Of course I am. Otherwise I wouldn't mention it."

The redhead graced him with a smile. "You said that to Lena, right?" He nodded a tacit affirmative. "Anyway, Yuu-chan writes a lotta detective stories. Mystery novels, y'know? He's got this knack for it, though. All the characters are so believable, and the bad guys always get in a few wins, just like in real life." He paused for a second, tilting his head. "An' then there's always something that happens to define the case, like a breakthrough or a kidnapping or something, and then it all spirals from there. The sequels are always even better." Lavi grinned up at him. "Am I helping?"

Tyki nodded encouragingly. "Can you give me a specific example? Like a plot summary or something?" He stopped for a second, trying to think. "Oh, he did give me the manuscript for his last novel. Can you tell me about that one?"

Lavi laughed lightly. "'Course I can! Yuu-chan makes me read everything. Always has to have a second opinion. You'd think the guy could figure out that he's good at what he's doing. Anyway..." The redhead raked a hand through his hair, a thoughtful expression on his face. "There are two main characters in this one – two pirates. So basically, in the first novel, they get kidnapped off their ship and taken hostage by this one guy. So then... They get rescued, yadda yadda, all this exciting stuff happens, and it leaves off with one o' the main characters being re-kidnapped by the group they're trying to escape from."

"You're not very good with summaries," Tyki said bluntly. "I have to hand it to you. I didn't think someone could butcher a plot so spectacularly."

His companion laughed again, shaking his head. "I never said I would tell you everything. You have to read it yourself! Be surprised!"

They reached the church without incident. The stone courtyard was mostly empty, save a few wanderers. They explored the church, talked about different things; he could tell that Lavi was avoiding bringing up the subject of their unofficial relationship. He didn't mind, at least not too much. They chatted, pushed each other on the stairs, admired the view. The parliament building was a few blocks away. They could have seen it better from across the Danube, but it was still nice.

They were alone on the balcony. Tyki glanced from right to left, wondering. Without dwelling, he swooped down and planted a chaste kiss on the tip of the redhead's nose.

"Hey!" Lavi protested, as he had thought he would. "What was that for?"

"Don't you have work to be getting back to?" Tyki reminded him, winking. "I think I should head back to the office. Earl might have something for me to do." He frowned, remembering the last time he had showed up late for work. "I hope not."

"Oh, we're so neglectful," Lavi said dramatically, swinging his arms around. "Life is crumbling around me!"

They laughed, parting ways at the façade of the church. The redhead had scrawled his new cell number on the older man's hand, and he promised to call later in the week to set up another meal date or something. Despite what he had said, the Portuguese man headed back to his house. There were things that needed to be done. Plans that needed to be made. A dangerous smirk was coloring his lips as he set the manuscript down on the kitchen table next to a yellow legal pad.

"I spy with my little eye something that begins with 'I have just,' I have just begun to realize..."

End of chapter one.

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