“So the issue here,” he said, “Is not that I’ve slept with other people in the past, before I met you, it’s that some of those people were male.”
“You’re not who i thought you were,” she repeated blankly, “I don’t want to see you any more.”
“And it doesn’t matter that I’m a serial monogamist, that there hasn’t been anyone else since we started seeing each other?” He ran one hand through his mid-brown hair.
“That isn’t the issue,” she said, “It’s not a matter of your integrity, it’s just everything else.” She turned, bag still clutched to her body and walked out of the apartment and his life. A touch of his version of feminine perfection gone forever from his grasp.
Work was still there, ever welcoming, and his studies. His studies more than qualified him for his work but he was employed for his paramedic training. Which is how he came to be examining the smears around the hatch in the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Gas tunnels. “Definitely dragged inwards,” was his comment. “Do we know what by?”
“No idea,” was the response from the disturbed foreman, “Does it matter? You’re a paramedic, you find ‘em and fix ‘em.”
“Helps to know if I’m going to be dealing with poison or claws.”
“Ah,” the other man nodded. “Still don’t know. Here’s the protection guy Head Office sent.”
The newcomer, also brown haired, was pulling on a pair of half gloves. “Paramedic?”
“Shields and wards. Let’s do this while they might still be alive.”
The hatch swung open, they went in and it was locked behind them.
“What’s a Level 3 mage doing helping the Water Board with a vermin problem?”
“Friend of mine’s one of the missing. What’s a Level 3 mage doing working as a paramedic?”
“Work’s interesting and in my field. What do you think the problem is?”
“Neekers. There were reports of a nest east of the Tank Stream but they lost them. Could have moved down here.”
“Oh shit.” Torch light stayed put, “Found one of our guys. Damn,” as the light played down the body, “He’s only half here.”
The protection guy put up a set of wards while the paramedic checked the body. “No eggs,” the paramedic reported. That’s something.”
The protectionist shone his torch on the dead man’s face, already dark with stubble. “Oh, Andion,” it was almost a sigh, “You should have stayed home today, my love.”