Apologize for the late post, but here’s a chapter of Rage of the Cursed to when your appetite for B.O.S.S. stories.
Rage of the Cursed Part 8
Xallion took a sip of his coffee, savoring the familiar Rhialnan blend. It was all he could do to ignore the stares from the other patrons of the café. The forest folk weren’t uncommon in the city and southern soldiers were respected.
Tieshaie poked a spoon through her drink, the most expensive item on the menu—an assured act of spite—and fixed her gaze on him. “So, since you’re paying so much, how far to you expect me to go?”
He sputtered his coffee and slammed down the cup. “What?”
She lowered her voice. “Oh, you think you can get away with calling me a prostitute? Get ready to suffer, buddy.”
Xallion glanced to the surrounding tables, no one seemed to have heard. “Look, you have it wrong. It’s not what I think… it’s just… you’re too beautiful of a woman for my ilk. People will assume—”
“You think I care what people think?” She leaned back, folding her arms. “I want to know what you think. Besides, I don’t buy it. You look fine, handsome even.”
The atmosphere shifted. She had said it so bluntly and without regret.
“So, you think I’m handsome?”
“Don’t let it go to your head. I’m just saying I’m not embarrassed to be around you. IT pisses me off that you can’t say the same.” She put her hands at her mouth, imitating a snobby aristocrat. Oh, look at man with that trollip, no doubt he plans to have illicit relations with her. The nerve.”
She had a point. What did it matter? He chuckled to himself. “You do a good impression, you must have been to Rhialn.”
“No, fake people like that are everywhere,” she said, taking a heavy gulp of her drink. “They can all rot. Wow, this is really good.”
“Goes well with lamb,” Xallion said. “If you’re into that sort of thing.”
She raised a brow, scooped up the menu and looked it over. Their only lamb dish was the third most expensive item on the menu.
“I’d get it over the stewed gibbon brains. It tastes as bad as it sounds,” Xallion said.
For the record, gibbon brains was the most expensive item on the menu.
She put down the menu and sighed. “Fine. I’ll try it, but I better love it.”
Xallion smiled behind his second sip of coffee.
“You don’t strike me as the classy sort. I mean, I’ve never been to this place or anything like it. Usually I get laughed out of the front door, even if I have the money to pay for it.”
“It’s because I’m not,” Xallion said. “If I learned anything in Rhialn, it’s the fine art of acting like you should be places you don’t belong. I don’t really care about money. You looked like you wanted to go somewhere nice, and here we are.”
“So you’re rich? Is that it?”
“Not even close. You keep ordering like that and I’ll need to hunt my food for the next month. Lucky for me, I don’t mind doing that at all.”
“You’re weird,” Tieshaie said, taking another sip of her drink. “But weird is fine by me.”
The waiter approached, giving Tieshaie a cordial glance, before addressing Xallion. “What can I get you today, sir?”
“Hey,” Tieshaie smacked the table. “You’re supposed to ask the lady what she wants first.”
The waiter flinched, glaring back at her. “I would, if a lady was present.”
Tieshaie stood, fists clenched at the table. “Wanna say that again, buddy?”
“Relax, he’s just keeping to decorum.” Xallion said, waving her to sit. He glanced to her, giving her a small nod and stayed calm. “But if you disrespect my partner again, I’ll have to kill you. Are we clear, Sir?”
The waiter swallowed back a lump in his throat. “Crystal.”
Tieshaie smiled, batting her eyes. “Getting your money’s worth huh, Xal? Oh, I’ll be making it worth your while tonight.”
He frowned at her. I stand up for her and she’s still doing this to me?
“I want the lamb… thing. Extra lamb, please.” Tieshaie slapped the menu against the waiter’s chest. He took it, glaring.
Xallion sighed. “I’ll take the Barcos Steak, rare as you can make it.
“Excellent choice, sir.”
“So my choice wasn’t excellent?” Tieshaie said. “What’s up with that?”
The waiter opened his mouth to retort, but Xallion stared him down. “A…apologies, the Lamb Barbocalle is our specialty dish and I felt it stating the obvious.”
“Well you obviously left out the most important part.” She said, coyly resting a hand on her chin.
“Apologies, m’lady.” The waiter bowed stiffly, took Xallion’s menu and walked off.
“What a jerk.”
“You should see them in, Rhialn,” Xallion said, shrugging. “Twice as bad.”
“So are you excited?”
“Catching whoever you’re after? I mean you must be if you’re putting up with me.”
Xallion lowered his gaze, staring into his coffee cup. “Excited isn’t the word. It’s… something that needs done.”
“I have connections too you know, if you make it worth my while. Maybe we could even help each other out. I’ve got a brother, a regular troublemaker, and well—I haven’t seen him around lately.”
“Must run in the family.”
“Yeah, a little. He’s a good kid though, so I worry.”
“Little brother, huh? I don’t have any siblings.”
“Well, half-brother but it’s a long story.”
“We have time to kill, your lamb is going to take a while.”
She shook her head. “I don’t like talking about it. Besides, you might just want to arrest him or something. No offense.”
“None taken. It’s a reasonable precaution. I have a few people on my list, it would be complicated if he was on it. So, still interested in working with me?”
“For now, sure,” Tieshaie said. “You make a good dinner date at least.”
He shared a laugh with her. It’d been a while since he’d done that with anyone.
Xallion traded in his coffee cup for a whiskey and Tieshaie got another expensive drink, something neither of them could pronounce.
“You want to try it? I mean you’re paying.”
“That’s your drink. I have mine.”
“My mother told me I should only share drinks with people I’d consider kissing.”
He raised a brow. “You’re considering kissing me?”
“More than that.”
Oh right, more teasing. “I didn’t think that came with the package.”
She laughed. “Oh you have a sense of humor now? It’s no fun if you start to play along.” She slid the glass towards him. “Try it.”
He took a sip, tasting more fruit than booze. “And that cost twice as much as mine? I’ll never understand high society.”
“Me either,” she said taking her drink back. “I’ll drink what you’re having next time.”
“Next time?” Xallion said. “I’m not sure I can afford you twice.”
They shared another laugh.
The waiter came with the food, setting down Tieshaie’s lamb first.
“Thank you,” she said. “It looks delicious.”
The waiter quirked a brow and straightened. “I am glad you approve, m’lady.”
Xallion accepted his food with a nod and carved away the first bite, but looked forward to his second date with Tieshaie much more.