“You understand the situation. If I fail to do my job, Mark Caten will send someone who will. You will be captured and those you care for will suffer. You have no choice, Ambrose Smith.”
He heard her words and he knew that they were true. “I’m afraid.”
“Of course you are, but it can’t be helped. I can’t help.”
He sat still and listened to the twelve thousandth round of “Love Love Me Do”. “What is your name?”
“My name is Ginshee. Why do you ask?”
“Oh.” She rose to her feet. “Shall we go, then?”
“Idiot. We have to pay the bill first.”
“Oh.” She glanced around for the waiter.
“Ginshee. You said you can’t help. What if you try?”
She looked down at him.
“You’re able to influence the minds of humans. Influence his.”
“Mark Caten?” She blinked so fast her eyelids probably got whiplash.
“Yes. Mark Caten. Turn his mind away from me, away from Raven and his club. Far away from Elsie. Make him forget his plans.”
“If he found out that I did such a thing, I would lose my job.”
“You’ll find another.”
“He’ll make sure that I don’t.”
He smirked. “Well, then. Don’t let him find out.”
The band switched to “And I Love Her” as the waiter finally appeared. “Would you fine folks like some dessert?”
“No.” said Ambrose.
Ginshee dropped back into her seat. “Yes, please.”
Three bowls of fried ice cream and one giant heaping mound of turtle sundae later, the band was still playing “And I Love Her”.
Ambrose took another sip of water.
“What will you do while I play traitor for you?”
He shook his head. “I don’t know. I want to…” He frowned. “It doesn’t matter what I want. I know what I should do. I know what I ought to do. I know.” He sighed. “I know.”
She put the spoon in her mouth and sucked off all of the caramel drizzle.
“I need to go somewhere and just be alone. I need to think.”
She murbled, “You don’t want to come with me?” around the spoon.
“No, because that would be stupid. He will be expecting me. He’ll trap me.” His frown deepened. “And he’ll go back on his word, especially in regards to Elsie. I know he will.”
The waiter reappeared. “Will there be anything else for the lovely fey maiden?”
She pulled the spoon out of her mouth and contemplated its emptiness.
“No.” said Ambrose.
She blinked at him.
“She’s full. Aren’t you?”
“See? Full. Give me the bill.”
Ambrose looked at the total and clenched his teeth. “You will pay me back for this.”
“Mm? I thought that my betrayal was payment enough.”
I would prefer cold, hard cash. He smiled. It made him look like he had a toothache. “Of course. What was I thinking?” He paid the waiter, who joyfully ambled off with the money. “Do you think you can do it?”
“I am fey.”
“I assume that means yes.”