Part 710 – Talking About Master Initskay And Jeff Farsigh

“Yes. I will have you come in for one last interview. Let’s say…tonight? Does nine o’clock work with you? Very good. I will see you then. Have a great day.”

Sammy hung up the phone. Only to have it ring again. “Hello. Sammy Borscht speaking. Yes. Hold on one moment. Let me check my files.” He went into his computer program. “All right. Spell your name – last name first.” He typed the last name and hit Tab. “First name? Okay.” He hit Enter and scanned the Employee File. “Yes. I see it. We sent your check out last Wednesday. You should be getting it today or tomorrow. Thank you. Yes. I’ll see you later. Have a great day.”

The phone rang again. “Hello. Sammy Borscht speaking.” He sat up a little straighter. “Ms. Addleston. Yes. I’ll be right there.”

Sammy left his office and walked briskly to the double glass doors. He pushed them open and returned to Barbara’s desk. “Ms. Addleston. What seems to be the problem?”

“Well. Just look at him.”

He followed her point to Ambrose, who was sound asleep. “Okay?”

“He needs someone to take him home so he can get his sleep.”

Sammy looked at the sleeping vampire. “Are you asking me if you can take him?”

“I’d love to do it, but well. After that whole kerfuffle the other day, I’m thinking that’s not a good idea. Plus, he’s completely zonked out. There’s no way I’d be able to get him into the car much less into his room.”

“Then, you’re asking me to do it?”

“Do you mind?”

He shrugged. “I can’t have him sleeping in our lobby.”

“Sammy.”

“Don’t worry, Ms. Addleston. I will not harm him.”

She smiled. “Thank you.”

***

“Hey!” Hildreth frowned. “Don’t shuffle off the hamburger crumbs. That’s the good stuff.”

“No. The good stuff would be the artichokes.”

Hildreth made a face about that.

“Don’t give me that face. They taste good and they’re good for you.”

“See? That’s the sort of thing that shouldn’t go on a pizza. Pizza should be a carnivore’s delight. Meat piled upon cheese and meat and meat and meat. Other than the pizza sauce, there shouldn’t be anything of a vegetable nature on the crust.” He took a bite of his slice. “mmm. It is good, though.”

“Told you so.”

“Mm! On a side note, I know a guy who can do the music for our wedding. Jeff Farsigh. He used to be a hunter like us.”

“What happened?”

“He retired and took up singing for a living.”

“So, it does happen.”

He smiled. “Yeah.”

“Why did he retire?”

His expression turned serious. “He was the one who had to take out Master Initskay. That messed him up pretty bad. Half lost his mind over it.” He looked down at his pizza slice. “I know that feeling.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

He shook his head. “Not over such good pizza. Maybe over something like onion soup, where you just can’t help but cry as you’re eating it.”

“Hildreth.”

He shrugged. “Master Initskay was important to me. He saved my life. And this is very good pizza.”

“You’re deflecting. Stop it. Just talk.”

He took a bite of his pizza and took his time eating it. “Really, Els. It’s an old hurt and nothing more.”

“But it still hurts.”

He shrugged again. “I failed him. That’s all.” He finished his piece and reached for another one.

She grabbed both of his hands.

He looked at her face and his shoulders slumped. “I was the one who found Master Initskay. He was upset. Crying. Afraid of what he’d become.” He lowered his gaze to somewhere below their combined hands. “As a hunter, it was my responsibility to stake him, to keep him from going wild. As his student and his almost son, I should have spared him the hurt and the agony of claiming his first victim. But I was afraid. I was…” He scoffed. “…a witless coward. I ran. He begged for my help and I ran away from him. I left him like that.”

“Hildreth.”

“Of course, he went wild. He was no longer the good man I knew, that I’d admired for so long. Even then, I couldn’t. Elsie, I just couldn’t do it. So, Master Shinowa sent Jeff after him. And he didn’t hesitate. He did what needed to be done. But it affected him. He doubted himself. He did the whole ‘What if that’s my fate?’ mental game and he couldn’t hunt. He lost his drive, his confidence. He nearly got himself killed one too many times.”

Elsie loosened her grip on his hands.

He quickly slipped them to freedom and grabbed another pizza slice. “Master Shinowa had a whole long heart-to-heart with him and convinced him to accept retirement. And he did.”

“How is he now?”

Hildreth took a bite. “Mmmm…I dunno. I’m gonna go pay him a visit later to see if he’d be willing to sing at our wedding.”

He took another bite. “Mm. This is real good pizza.” He smiled at her. “Even with the artichokes.”

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