From my latest novella, Sheepsquatch:
Rick watched Mina storm off. He wasn’t sure why she was upset, but she obviously was. He wondered if he’d done something else.
You’ve done enough already.
He tried to push away the guilt. He hadn’t done anything wrong. He’d only asked her out. She’d been clear that dating wasn’t an option, and he’d tried his damnedest to respect that.
Jen’s buzzing phone caught his attention and he turned to the demon hunter.
She smiled as she read the text. “See you in a few hours. I’m gonna drive my uncle to the airport.” When she stood, her head just about came to his chin. Deep blue eyes glanced up through long black lashes.
“See you then.” Rick forced a smile. It faded as she joined Bart at the bar. The dark hall Mina had disappeared into loomed behind them.
Two weeks ago he would have waited for Mina. Probably. Maybe. Matty was already with Sam, so yeah, he would have waited.
Rick headed for the exit. For Matty’s sake, he had to get over Mina. His werewolf didn’t worry as much around his sister, or maybe she was more in tune with his emotions, kept him calm. Whatever it was, Rick cared too much about Matty’s sanity to risk it on someone who wasn’t interested.
I should just find somebody else.
The guard unlocked the giant metal door for him. The sidewalk of the Strip District was crowded with weekend shoppers. Open stalls lined the sidewalks of the old brick buildings and the brown mud of the river wove in on the cool spring breeze.
Rick shoved his hands in his jeans pockets as he moved with the crowd. Then he headed down an alley and towards the back of the bar.
As their SUV came into sight, so did Matty. He stood by the covered porch Rita’s kitchen staff used for their breaks.
His friend stared at the gray sky. “I was really clear about how uncomfortable I am with you and my sister dating.”
Rick froze, eyes wide, and heart pounding. He’d just begun to believe he’d kept everything hidden.
Matty tore his gaze away from the gloomy sky to glare at Rick through his bangs. “So I’m only going to say this once: I’ve always thought you were the nicest person in the world. Don’t prove me wrong. Because if you hurt her, I will kill you.”
He put up his hands. “I can’t think of anybody who’d treat her better. I mean that.” Matty’s grin was all teeth and no happiness. “Just remember that she’s my life and my sanity. I’m happy if she’s happy, but I swear to the gods, I will kill the next person who hurts her. I don’t care if it’s you or some guy she meets out shopping. I don’t care if it’s a waitress who accidentally pours coffee in her lap. Somebody’s heart is getting dug out of their chest with a rusty spoon.”
Rick shrugged. “It doesn’t matter, man. She doesn’t want me.”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself.” Matty ran a hand through his hair before he shook his head. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you’re doing the right thing. She’s uncertain. She really hates that. Just let her work through it. She’ll probably realize you’re the best thing that could ever happen to her.”
Rick’s mouth pulled up into a smile, in spite of himself. “Probably?”
Matty looked back to the clouds. “If there’s a manual on how to get my sister to see reason, I’d love to get my hands on it.”
Rick forced a laugh as he lifted the hatch on the SUV. Whatever Matty thought, Mina had been clear that she could never date a Speaker.
This is a decent-sized city. How hard can it be to find another woman?