I emerged from the bathroom, towel drying my hair, heading for the frig. Pulling open the door I reached inside only to find the plate which held my breakfast was missing. I didn't recall eating all the pizza. In fact, I know I hadn't, so where the heck did it go? Having a case of missing pizza I closed the door, thinking this over as I went into the makeshift kitchen to make the coffee. One thing I really like about this place is the openness. The only walls were the bathroom and outer walls, giving me the room I needed. The only downside had been heating the place. So while fixing up the building I had new pluming, heating and electric put in. Because of the work being down I had also decided the walls could use a new coat of paint and fixing the floors while keeping to the original as best I could. After all it was the original that had caught my attention in the first place. Yes, I had seen hidden potential under all the trash, dirt and grim. And learned the building had seen it's fair share of damage and repairs, so the contractor had told me. I still had insisted on fixing up the place and making it mine.
Putting the coffee can away I stood there watching the coffee dripping into the pot and bobbing my head to the music playing through the head phones. It was something I always did. I don't think I went a day without music playing. Seeing the coffee was about done I turned to the open shelf to get my cup. Then I poured the coffee into it, setting the pot back on the burner I switched the thing off. I blew on the steamy hot liquid before taking a careful sip. Ah, that hit the spot.
Turing about with cup in hand, I froze in my tracks. There's a large man clad in red with white hair lounging on the chair behind the large wooden desk. Two pieces of furniture that had come with the place, among several other items. The man looks up at me, a quizzical expression on his face that didn't match my expression. I was insulted by this person being in my home…unannounced, much less uninvited.
"And you are?" I ask, not liking the idea of a stranger making himself at home like this guy was doing. Wait a minute, "You..." I just noticed the plate on the desk, now empty. I look at the guy's face, right at those eyes that look almost ghostly blue from this distance. "You ate my breakfast."
"Skip the olives next time, babe. I don't like them." He says, causing a feeling of discontent to take root inside me. I knew it'd do no good to get upset, but damn it, the jerk ate my fricking pizza without asking me. And to boot he was making himself right at home like he owned the place. And that got me thinking either this guy had gumption or was an idiot. Maybe both.
"That was my pizza. I'll put what I want on it." I tell the jerk, who doesn't seem bothered one bit by the tone of my voice. Which annoys me. "And don't call me babe."
"Then what do I call ya, babe?" He says, irking me even more.
"You don't." I was not happy and it showed as I stood there looking at this guy. Now that I thought about it, he did seem familiar with the white hair and pale blue eyes. Thinking back to when I first bought the building a young man by the name of Nero had shown up. Come to think of it, this guy looked a lot like an older version of the kid who had stuck around for a bit, telling me about this man he had come looking for. A man he'd never forgotten even though they'd only met once. But from what Nero had said it sounded like an encounter that would defiantly leave an impression.
As I thought about it, watching this guy making himself right at home in a chair that seemed to fit him perfectly, with his boots up on the desk, I began to feel uncomfortable. White hair, blue eyes almost as pale as his skin, red from head to toe, packing a huge sword and two pistols. And I felt my jaw drop to the floor at the sight of the huge blade leaning up against the wall behind the chair. My eyes darted to the desk. And there lay the pistols, one silver and one black, at arms reach just a Nero had described them. I looked at this man's face. This couldn't be him. This couldn't be the guy Nero talked about. And yet he fit the description to a T.
"Something wrong, babe?" The guy says, looking at the magazine he'd found. I wanted to say many things, mostly to deny but none of them came out. Some how I felt none of them fit the moment. Well except one.
"Dante," It was barely audible, though he clearly heard it. Watching him turning his head we caught each others' eyes. A look that seemed both warning and longing in his eyes. I wasn't sure which was winning. Then I find myself shifting my weight, licking my lips that seemed to be overly dry as I tilted my head a bit, trying to figure out something. Or it was the nervousness I felt surging through my body.
"What?" He says. "I got something on my face?" He whips his fingers over his mouth area. I shook my head a bit. "Then what's the matter, babe?" and I find the uneasiness of being in his presence isn't as bad as I had thought. "Dante's the name, babe. Don't wear it out."
"I wasn't repeating it. And stop calling me babe." I barked at the jerk who smirked at me as if he'd known what to do. Damn jerk, i think to myself as I shack my head, pushing it all to the side, and still finding my thoughts jumbled up. Whipping my hand over my face, trying to clear my head in order to deal with this guy I look at him again to find his eyes rooming, taking in the sight of me. Though my thoughts were jumbled, is seemed to be quite clear as he tilted his head with a devilish look forming on his face. I didn't know exactly what he was thinking but I did know I didn't like it as I watched those lips part and that tongue sliding over them. My eyes took in the whole of his face and what I saw made me swallow hard. It was almost like he had found something he'd been missing, something very enticing to his appetite.
With his eyes scanning my form he says, "Nice welcome home, babe."
I frowned, wondering what the hell he was talking about. What welcome home? I wasn't giving him any welcomes..."Crap." I say, setting the cup down then wrapping my shirt closed about me. I heard the deep chuckle without him ever actually laughing aloud. I could picture a satisfied grin on his face. Then an image flashed in my mind and I felt the heat rise from my neck to my cheeks. Which, of course, both irked me and embarrassed me. I quickly take up the cup and sipping on the hot liquid in hopes of chasing the embarrassment away. Which served its purpose as I flinch from the pain of burning my lip and tongue. At least I don't feel embarrassed anymore, I tell myself, remembering the man who was watching me. I didn't really want to look at him because I knew I'd get flustered again, but damn it, I couldn't let this bastard get the better of me. this was, is my home now and he's the intruder. Or so I kept telling myself even though I could clearly sense the guy truly belonged here and was getting a kick out of this. And that alone annoyed me in to saying, "Who the hell are you, anyway?" as I took up a defensive stance with my arms folded under my breasts, holding my shirt closed, as I turned about to face him. "What's the deal with you coming in here like you own the place?" Okay, so I pretty much knew the answers but I had to do something to ease my nerves.
The guy tilted his head a bit, a look of contemplation in his pale blue eyes. "There's no need to get all defensive, babe. I'm just playing with you."
"I don't consider it playing." I inform the guy who again looks as if he's contemplating over this. Trying to figure this out, how to handle the situation without it blowing up in his face. Or mine, I realized.
"It's my place, babe. I own Devil May Cry." He says, obviously having figured out a solution. I gave him credit for it, though I was frowning at his answer.
"This isn't 'Devil May Cry' anymore." I inform him, watching the man who was still calling me babe. And at the moment I wasn't going to complain about it, mainly because I could see a sensitive nerve ticking in those icy blue eyes. "Sorry, but you left the place alone for to long and the city took it over. They were gonna tare it down, making way for apartments before I bought it." I inform him, not certain it gave him any sort of relief but he deserved to know. After all it had been both his home and business.
Standing here watching this man called Dante, a man who's well known for his fighting skills with a sword and guns, thoughts and ideas began swirling in my head. Several of them seemed to be connected. Turning about I picked up my cup, taking a careful sip, I let the ideas flow back and forth for a moment. I wasn't one to hesitate, except when it came to certain things. And I didn't consider this hesitation but I was going to carefully think this through, weigh the pros and cons of the situation and possible out comes. After all the guy had owned and ran a business out of here for years. Obviously a place he called home. And I didn't feel like taking that away from him. But at the same time I wasn't willing to give the place up either. After all I had put a lot of time and money into fixing it up.
"Dante," I say, having come to my decision as I turned about to look at the man. He was looking at me with a blank expression. I found I hated that. But I didn't let it deter me from my chosen path involving the devil hunter, though, I found it a bit sticky for the right way to say it aloud.
"What is it, babe?" He says, calling me babe again. I held my tongue, figuring it'd do no good to get riled up over it considering it seemed to be something he just did without really thinking about it. I gave a moment to reconsider my choice.
Nope, I was gonna fallow through. "Stop calling me babe. I do have a name."
"And that would be..." He says, acting like an ass.
"I don't have to," and I stopped myself. If we were gonna live under the same roof I had to change my attitude. And it seemed Dante knew for a smile formed on his lips.
"I'll stop calling you babe if you tell me your name."
"It's Catherine Valentino."
"Catherine." He says, letting it roll over his tongue. "Hm, I like it. I'm Dante."
I smiled, shacking my head at myself for getting sidetracked. "Look, I know this place is your home and I don't wanna take that away. So with two bedrooms and plenty of space I don't see why we both can't live here."
"You sure you'd want that?" He says, after a few moments. "You realize the work I do is dangerous to anyone around me."
"I'm aware of that." After all this was a man involved in demon hunting. And anyone involved in that kind of work was always fallowed by death and destruction. Was I really willing to put my life on the line just so this guy could have his home back?
"You'd be a target." He says, and I nod my head knowing this and excepting it. After all it wouldn't be the first nor the last time it'd happen. Of course, I don't think Dante knew that but he'd learn it soon enough. "What's the catch, babe?"
"You said you'd stop calling me that. I told you my name, so stop it."
And again that devilish grin appeared. "Never trust a devil, babe."
I'll show you to never trust a devil, I think to myself as I look at him with a similar expression. But for now I'd have to wait on that little lesson because the phone rang, causing a distraction of the moment. I watched him answer it, knowing who was calling and why. Dante looked at me as he listened to the person on the other end. I could sense him tsk tsking me for being a bad girl. I couldn't help it, he showed up unexpectedly and it had caused a delay in my schedule.
"Your boss sounds like a dick." Dante says, the receiver still near his mouth where I knew 'my boss' could clearly hear the insult. And sure enough the guy went off on him. Dante simply hung up the phone.
He's gonna love you, I think to myself as I lift the cup to my lips and drink the rest of the liquid that was cooled off now. Turning about I set the cup on the counter near the sink then headed up stairs to get my butt dressed. I walked over to the dresser and opened the top right draw. Reaching inside I pulled out a dark purple velvet bag. Opening that I took out one item. Well, I think to myself before tossing the bag back into the draw and closing it. I figured this might be an agreement I'd regret later but to be honest I wouldn't have taking his home from him. After all I'd kept pretty much everything he'd had in this place, including a few items I wasn't to fond of but not trusting anyone else to have to either.
Coming back downstairs I half expected him to be gone. Not having time to talk I simply tossed the extra key onto his lap as I headed out the back door. I had the feeling he didn't really need it but this way, officially, it meant he was welcomed here. We'd see if he had truly come home or not, I think to myself, closing the door behind me as I take my leave.