I closed the door to my bookstore, FangWorm Books, and locked the door. I put the keys into my purse and turned around and jumped. I relaxed when I saw that it was just my best friend, Nick Gautier. He laughed, "What's the matter Risky? Scared?" he said smiling, his double bow and arrow mark on his cheek widened as he smiled. It meant he was a Dark-Hunter, a servant of Artemis who hunted down vampire type things that killed people for their souls called Damions.

"Surprised, Beau, not scared and what have I told you about calling me Risky?" I said staring him down.

He laughed at me being two feet shorter than him and so I had to look up at him. He acted all prissy in a "me" impersonation, "My name is Risska. Not Risk. Not Risky. Risska. And I owe Nick 30 bucks," he said laughing at me. When he saw me not laughing he wined, "Aww come on Risk. Lighten up. At least I showed up on time to walk you home."

I sighed. That was true. He had been late a lot this week due to his Dark-Hunter duties and his Malachai training. We had been best friends since we could remember and he had walked me home ever since his mother Cherise had been murdered by Damions when he had been late to walk her home from work. He had killed himself over it and it was how he became a Dark-Hunter. He had had a dark period and didn't care about anyone but me and he was still like that sometimes but we were working on that.

He held out his arm and I took it as we walk down the Quarter of New Orleans. "So how have Squire duties been for you?" he asked me. Squires worked for the Dark-Hunters and bought stuff for them and made sure they were not disturbed during the day when they slept.

I shrugged. "Since Alai died, I haven't had any Dark-Hunter to be a Squire to. All of the girls have one and their aren't any gay Dark-Hunters." Squires were assigned based on the what sexual preference the Dark-Hunter had and they got the opposite of that since one of the Dark-Hunter rules was to never touch your Squire. My Dark-Hunter had been killed by a Damion a couple of weeks ago while on patrol.

"You could be my Squire. I feel frisky for Risky," he said laughing.

"Well, frisky better stay where it is because I have no desire to see it. Besides, last I checked, you're straight. Unless there something or more like someone I don't know about…," I said raising my eyebrows laughing.

He laughed, "Nope. Chicks are my thing. It's good to see you laugh Risk…I know how hard Alai's death was for you," he said switching back to serious Nick.

"Acheron invited me to his and Tory's house for dinner a couple nights a week, so I'm getting over it little by little…here's my house."

He walked me up to my house and watched as I pulled out my keys and unlocked my door. "Now don't forget to.."

"Lock my door and check my windows. If I hear anything, call you. I know Nick. I hear the same thing every night when you drop me off. I'll be fine," I said, hearing the weariness in my voice.

"I don't want to lose you, like I lost Mom," he said.

"I know how hard Cherise's death was for you and how much you hated Acheron, but now you are doing better." I hugged him and kissed him on the cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow night."

He hugged me. "I'll see you tomorrow."

Oh how wrong I turned out to be…